Today is Friday, December 19, 2014

Heat breaks record Thursday, to continue this weekend

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There is hope, however, for some relief with a 20 percent chance of showers entering the forecast on Tuesday and Wednesday, Independence Day. It will still be hot, but highs will be in the upper 90s, both days.


A Heat Advisory has been issued by the weather service and will be in effect from 2 p.m., Friday, through 7 p.m., Sunday, for areas west of the Cumberland Plateau.


Wright said if you must be outside, Please drink plenty of water, stay out of the sun, no alcohol beverages, take plenty of breaks.


Do not leave children or pets inside vehicles and be sure to check on elderly family members and friends.


If you work outside, wear loose clothing.


City of Lebanon officials were so concerned Thursday about the high temperatures in the forecast that Mayor Philip Craighead and Commissioner of Public Works Jeff Baines said sanitation and chipper service workers will come in earlier and leave earlier as a precaution.


Due to extreme heat conditions, several Public Works services will be operating between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. for the next several days, Baines said. In particular, sanitation routes and chipper routes will be running an hour earlier. Please make preparations to have your items out prior to 6 a.m. During this time period it will be allowable to place trash carts by the curb the night before regular pickup if necessary.


When is gets to the dead heat, well send them home, Craighead said of sanitation and other Public Works employees who must be outside.


Mt. Juliet Police Department officials echoed Wrights comments from the weather service.


Triple digit temperatures like those we are expecting in the upcoming days can be extremely dangerous, especially for the elderly residents and children, said Chief Andy Garrett. I would like everyone to take steps to stay safe and cool. If you have children or elderly neighbors, please check on them regularly to make sure they are safe.


Sgt. Tyler Chandler, MJPD community policing director and public information officer, said that a number of organizations in the city have made space available to cool off from the heat. Among them are the Mt. Juliet Community Center which is open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from 1 until 5 p.m., Sunday; Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center, from noon until 8 p.m., Monday through Friday; and First Baptist Church, Mt. Juliet, which is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.


I dont know of any organized effort right now in Lebanon, Craighead said regarding shelters opening for people to cool off in, he added there are facilities in town available such as Lebanon Senior Citizens Center and the Jimmy Floyd Family Center.


If the need arises, Craighead said he felt sure that churches in the area would help out as best as they could.


Be on the lookout for heat-related illnesses that can range from heat rashes to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can be life-threatening. Symptoms of heat-related illnesses include headaches, skin that is hot to the touch, increased body temperature, loss of consciousness, seizures and irregular heartbeats.


If someone is in distress, Wright said, call 911 immediately.


Sgt. Don Witherspoon, liaison between Wilson County Sheriffs Department and SCAN, or the Senior Citizens Awareness Network, said the volunteer agency serves about 130 recipients on a weekly basis, checking on them to be sure they have enough food and medicine and are doing OK.


However, he noted, We turn it up a notch when we get into high temperatures.


SCAN volunteers check on air conditioning to make sure units are operating properly and if they should fail, especially when temperatures are in the upper 90s to 100s, they work to find another air conditioner or make other arrangements so the persons health is not endangered by the extreme heat.


That kind of weather can be life-threatening to them, Witherspoon noted.


He said if you know of a senior citizen who may be having some problems related to the very hot temperatures during the next few days, do not hesitate to call the SCAN program. We will respond quickly.


The phone number for SCAN is the same as the Sheriffs Department at 444-1412, extension 499. If it is at night and there is an emergency, call the same number and ask for him, and the dispatcher will contact him on his cell phone.


In the meantime, doctors and nurses in the Emergency Department at University Medical Center are prepared to treat anyone who arrives there with heat-related illnesses.


Theyre always ready, said Anna-Lee Cockrill, director of Business Development & marketing at UMC.


She also urged everyone to be careful this weekend and next week with the high temperatures.


In the meantime, the dry conditions mean that fire risks have increased. Wright urged everyone to use caution if you plan to shoot fireworks during the July 4 holiday next Wednesday.


After an expected high today of 106, the low tonight should be about 74. Saturdays high should reach 104 with a low that night of 76. The high Sunday should be about 103 with a low Sunday night of 75. Mondays high should be 102, and the low 75. Tuesdays high should be 99 while Wednesday, Independence Day, should reach 98.


Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at news@wilsonpost.com.

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