Many people try to beat the heat as temperatures soar throughout Hampton Roads

Posted at 8:34 PM, Jul 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 07:27:40-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Temperatures soared Sunday, hitting 102 degrees at one point, a record-high for the Norfolk area.

“I like the hot weather, so it doesn’t bother me too much,” said Thad Vermillion of Norfolk.

The sweltering summer heat didn’t stop Vermillion and his fiancé Cynthia Mayer from playing a game of Frisbee barefoot.

“The grass is hot,” Mayer said. “It’s burning your feet. You have to keep moving. It’s like being on the sand almost, when the sand is burning your feet.”

Many people flocked to the beach to stay cool.

Nahomie Alexis of Norfolk brought her German Shepherd Mitchello to Town Point Park. The 11-month-old pup couldn’t resist taking a dip in the fountain, then made sure to hydrate with bottled water.

People, especially kids and the elderly, were urged to use caution if they planned to be outside for long periods of time.

Bruce Nedelka, the division chief with Virginia Beach EMS said the best thing to do is to stay out of the sun.

“If you can’t get out of the sun and into air conditioning, you can take other precautions, like try to get under an umbrella, drink some fluids so you’re not dehydrated,” said Nedelka. “The heat can be dangerous if it’s not respected.”

Drinking lots of water is crucial to preventing heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Nedelka said on Sunday, Virginia Beach EMS saw an increase in heat-related emergency calls.

“Heat exhaustion is the precursor for heat stroke,” he said. “If you’re starting to feel dizzy; if you’re profusely sweating; if you get blurred vision, maybe a headache; if it doesn’t subside in a few minutes, give us a call. Call 911.”

Most of the area was under either a heat advisory or excessive heat warning for much of the day.

Newport News opened several community centers for people to escape the triple-digit heat index. Doris Miller and Courthouse Way community centers, Main Street Library, and Four Oaks Day Service Center for the Homeless were open from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

“This is to provide residents who may not have a place to go in the heat, they can come here and cool off,” said Main Street Library Manager Sherin Henderson.

If you can’t be in the AC, health experts said try to stay in the shade and avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine, because that could dehydrate you faster.