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Michiganders take caution as extreme heat wave hits the state

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Excessive heat is settling in over much of Michigan.  Temperatures are expected to soar well into the 90s this weekend. 

Michiganders are being urged to avoid spending extended time outside this weekend.

But some can’t do that.

Richie Rich sells watermelons out of the back of his truck in downtown Flint.

He’s spending these days sitting in a plastic chair under an umbrella with the sweat beading on his forehead.

“I’m out here all year long. Summer, winter, fall,” says Rich. “But today’s going to be a long one.”

A slow, but steady stream of customers stops to buy Rich’s watermelons, grapes, cherries, and even peanuts.

“Well, the bottom line is everyone wants to drink a lot of water today. And I’ve got the product: watermelons. And that’s all they are is water. I expect to sell a whole bunch of them today,” says a smiling Richie Rich.

Heat indexes are predicted to rise over 100 degrees Saturday and Sunday. 

Here are a few tips for beating the heat this weekend:

  • Drink plenty of water, and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
  • Reduce outdoor activities and stay inside in air-conditioned locations.
  • Never leave children, seniors, or pets alone in closed vehicles—even for short periods of time. The temperature inside the car can become 30–40 degrees hotter than the outside temperature.
  • Check on family and neighbors who are older, sick, or with special needs that may need help responding to the heat.
  • Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which include: confusion; hot, dry, flushed skin; cool and clammy skin; lightheadedness; headache; dizziness; and nausea. Call 911 immediately if any of these symptoms occur.
  • Choose loose fitting, lightweight clothing, and opt for light-colored fabric, as it reflects heat. Avoid wearing black clothes, especially if you’re in direct sunlight. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • If you must work outside, take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water.
  • For pets: To avoid heat-related illnesses in your pet, make sure they have protection from the sun and cool drinking water. Avoid leaving them outside during excessively hot and humid days, and monitor them regularly.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.