Reported By Nancy Amons
NASHVILLE, Tenn.Nashvillians are suffering from triple-digit misery. The outdoor temperature sign at one downtown business read 102 degrees on Friday at 5 p.m. This weekend, there will be no relief from the heat. Temperatures at or near 100 degrees are expected.
Heat exhaustion and dehydration are real threats for everyone, especially the elderly and the homeless.
The Red Cross has set up a cooling shelter at Schrader Lane Church of Christ in north Nashville for anyone needing a place to escape the heat. It will be open until Monday morning and will provide water, snacks, and a place to sleep.
When the temperature hits 90 degrees, the Union Rescue Mission runs a hot patrol." Its a van filled with ice-cold bottled water to pass out to those living on the streets.
They'll give away two or three hundred bottles of water a day.
The mission also opens an air-conditioned day room anytime the temperature exceeds 90 degrees. Edward Grimes said the day room has been serving as many as 300 men a day lately.
"We encourage as many men as possible to come in out of the heat," Grimes said.
The exceptionally hot summer means the day room has been open nonstop since May.
"It's put a great strain on our resources, manpower, and everything," Grimes said.
They mission always welcomes more volunteers and donations of bottled water.
The scorching heat can also take a toll on pets.
State veterinarian Dr. Charlie Hatcher warned pet owners to be sure their animals have shade and water, and recommends they avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day.
He said animals can get sunburned, and said animals with white-colored ears are susceptible to skin cancer.
Hatcher said dogs with short noses are more susceptible to heat stress. Their airways are more compressed and can become easily inflamed and swollen in stressful conditions, including high temperatures.
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