BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A lot of people say they’re used to Memorial Day rainouts, but this year Mother Nature rolled out the heat.

As Derek Valcourt reports, add sunshine and humidity and anyone working outside is up to their ears in sweat.

“I just drink plenty of cold water and try to stay in the shade as much as possible,” said Costello Sims, who, like many Marylanders, is dealing with the heat.

You might think the contractors working underground have it easier. You’d be wrong.

“It’s actually hotter down there. It’s humid muggy; it’s like a sauna down there. Up here it’s cooler,” said contractor Paul Street.

Cooler isn’t how most people describe it, though.

“It’s hot,” said one person.

“They just turned on summer here,” said another.

“Oh my goodness. A heat wave. But I’m enjoying it because we had a long winter,” said Kenny Williams.

Emergency room doctors know extreme heat often brings heat-related illness.

“Especially I would think this early in the season when people aren’t quite prepared for it perhaps and don’t expect to get the heat-related illnesses that everyone knows will come in July and August,” said Dr. Christopher Lorentz, St. Joseph  Medical Center.

Fatigue, muscle cramps, headaches, and nausea are all signs doctors say the heat is catching up with you. It’s especially risky for the very young and very old. That’s why the city already opened emergency cooling shelters with air conditioning and free ice water to anyone needing to cool off.

For some the heat is means to a profit.

“This place here helps people anyway, but the water, this is the first time I’ve got a water from them,” said one person.

In this kind of heat snowball stands turn a good profit, even when staff consumes some of the product.

“I might take three or four or one or two. You got to stay cool! Got to stay cool always,” said one snowball stand employee.

If you have an elderly relative who is in the heat make sure they have some way of stay cool and check in on them frequently. If they are exhibiting any kind of change in mental status or fatigue don’t hesitate to bring them to the ER.

For a list of cooling centers in Baltimore, click here.


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