Reporting Derek Valcourt
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Fighting triple digit heat. Much of Maryland is under a Code Red Heat Alert for the next two days. Emergency cooling centers are open right now in Baltimore and several surrounding counties.
Derek Valcourt shows us the growing health dangers from this miserable heat.
When Mother Nature delivers her hottest, postal workers like Juan Sutton still have to deliver.
Valcourt: “You’re out here walking house to house in the sun. How bad does it feel?”
“It’s terrorizing,” Sutton said. “We gotta take breaks when it’s hot out here like this.”
Anyone working outside has to stay hydrated. And the higher you go, the hotter it is.
“By the afternoon the sun’s straight up so it just bakes you,” said Steve Martin.
It’s part of why people working on rooftops have some of the hottest jobs around.
“Every time I come down my shirt’s completely drenched,” said Vincent Mendez.
These kinds of severe temperatures can be deadly. In fact, state health officials report extreme heat has contributed to the deaths of 23 people in Maryland. Baltimore City is reporting more than any other jurisdiction.
Almost every one of those heat-related deaths have been people ages 65 and older, which is why health officials say it’s so important to check on your elderly family members and neighbors.
“When we are overheated our hearts have to work harder, our lungs have to work harder, and it’s harder to catch up and get to your normal baseline when we have extended days of heat,” said Dr.Oxiris Barbot, Baltimore City Health Commissioner.
It’s also been a cruel summer for road crews working with hot asphalt.
“It feels like you’re in an oven coming from up and top,” said Evelio Martinez.
And they know the worst may be yet to come.
“There’s been a lot of hot days lately, and there’s probably more to come August,” Martinez said.
BGE says it’s been so hot they have now activated its non-emergency PeakRewards event. That means customers in that program will have their air conditioners and heat pump compressors cycled on and off as the utility tries to conserve energy.