Miss-Lou under heat advisory

Published 12:32 am Monday, August 13, 2007

NATCHEZ — With scorching temperatures outside, Miss-Lou residents should be careful to stay healthy in the heat, a local doctor said.

Adams County and Concordia Parish have been under heat advisories for the past few days, according to the National Weather Service’s Web site.

Highs for over the next few days are expected to reach the low 100s, according to the site.

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Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are risks, especially for the very young and very old, emergency room physician Dr. Elaine Reinhard said. Young children and residents over the age of 65 in particular need to stay out of the heat.

For Natchez resident Donald Bassett, who was buying ice at the Ice House on John R. Junkin Drive Sunday, staying hydrated is the only way to cope with the heat.

“It boils down to a lot of water and staying under the nearest shade tree you can get to,” he said. “It’s been a tough one.”

Reinhard said physical signs can be easy to recognize.

“Basically, the body temperature gets too high,” Reinhard said. “Symptoms include feeling lightheaded, a loss of energy, not sweating and being thirsty.”

People should stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible during the hot part of the day, Reinhard said.

If people have to work outside, Reinhard agreed with Bassett’s advice.

“Stay in the shade as much as possible, take frequent breaks and drink twice as much water as you think you need to,” she said. “Be aware of how you feel and what your body’s doing.”

It’s not just the heat that poses a risk, Reinhard said. High humidity can make the situation even worse.”

“Humidity makes a huge difference,” Reinhard said. “Normally, we sweat and the sweat evaporates. It’s what cools us. When humidity is high, we can’t evaporate sweat as much, so it’s harder for our bodies to cool.”

And it doesn’t look like things will cool off soon, at least not within the week, NWS meteorologist Latrice Maxie said.

“We’re not expecting rainfall or anything to bring much relief to the high temperatures at this point,” Maxie said.

As hot as it is, the Miss-Lou isn’t reaching extreme temperatures yet, she said.

“The temperatures have been a little above normal, but we haven’t broken any records this year,” Maxie said.