Hot temperatures modify work days and cause sidewalks to burst in Virginia Beach

Posted at 11:58 AM, Jun 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-23 17:35:56-04

Virginia Beach, Va. (WTKR)-City crews in Virginia Beach made modifications to their work day Tuesday thanks to very hot temperatures.

Waste Management held a meeting with all employees in the morning, encouraging workers to stay hydrated and making sure they knew the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses.

Additional yard-debris trucks were also put on the streets Tuesday in order to help finish the routes more quickly.

"We typically would run 18-19 trucks. Today it’s more like 23-24 trucks just to try and get them out of the heat as quickly as possible," Superintendent of Waste Collection Jerod Roberts told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo.

Some two-person crews were increased to three-person crews for the yard debris collection, considering that those workers haul yard clippings weighing between 25-50 pounds on average into the trucks.

"It’s a lot of work and the guys get extremely hot," Roberts stated.

Public Works street crews prioritized their day to complete smaller projects that can be finished quickly.

Those crews also had a meeting at the start of the work day and returned to covered jobs during the heat of the day in order to keep workers safe.

"It's hot. Real hot. We have to carry a lot of water with us, make sure the guys stay cool. Take a lot of breaks," worked Tony Mendez told Corillo.

The extreme heat has also impacted some infrastructure in the city.

High temperatures have caused several sidewalks to 'burst' where the concrete has buckled.

"What we call a blow-up. That’s where the pressure of the sidewalks get to a certain temperature and then that pressure starts pushing and actually the weakest point in that sidewalk will actually buckle upwards," Operations Superintendent Jim Huntington explained.

Crews have responded to approximately 10 such sidewalk blow-ups and there is the possibility for more later in the summer if extreme temperatures continue.