BELOIT — Although the Beloit Fire Department hasn’t had an increase in medical calls due to the hot weather recently, Deputy Chief Jason Griffin said it’s still a good idea to stay cool and hydrated and to check on elderly people and those with medical issues.
“We are always concerned with elderly and those with medical issues. Check on them on a regular basis. Have a little conversation to see if they are having any dizziness,” he said.
Heat index readings for today could reach 100 degrees in the Stateline Area, so caution is being urged.
Those who don’t have air conditioning should try to find shade or other places to cool off.
There are fewer options for cooling safely with COVID-19, but the Beloit Public Library, 605 Eclipse Boulevard, is listed through the county as cooling center from 9:30 a.m.—7 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
However, Beloit Public Library Marketing & Communications Coordinator Amy Mitchell said the library opens as early as 7 a.m., two and a half hours before official opening time, to accommodate those who need refuge from the elements.
“This is year-round, so it can be cold or heat from which they are escaping. It can also be general homelessness,” Mitchell said. “We usually have between five and seven people who come in during those first few hours. Yesterday, that number was nine. Staff are saying that during the afternoon they have noticed a bit more traffic with people sitting to read or using the computers. While we can’t necessarily attribute all of this to the heat, we can assume that they are, at least in part, correlated.”
If people cannot make it to air conditioning at the library or another source, Griffin said another way to cool off is with a cold shower or by applying ice packs to the groin, armpits or neck area.
“That’s where the core veins and arteries are which will cool someone off quicker,” Griffin said.
The biggest danger with this week’s weather is heat stroke. Some symptoms include headache, nausea, lightheadedness and bright red dry skin.
“Muscle weakness and cramps are one of the first signs,” Griffin added.
Griffin said instances of heat stroke are rare in this area as people seem to find ways to keep cool and hydrate.
Hot and humid weather is to continue in the Stateline Area for the rest of the week with a chance of rain Thursday and Friday.
Today will be very hot and humid with high temperatures expected to reach the lower 90s, according to the National Weather Service. Heat index readings are expected to be around 95 to 100 in the late morning and afternoon. South winds will be at about 10 mph. Low temperatures Wednesday night will be in the lower 70s.
Thursday’s high temperatures will be around 90 with heat index readings expected to be around 95 to 97 in the late morning and afternoon. Southwest winds will be around 10 mph. There will be a 50% chance of light rain. Lows Thursday night will be around the upper 60s.
Friday will bring high temperatures in the upper 80s and a 40% chance of light showers. Low temperatures Friday night will be around the mid 60s.