August 3, 2011 Edition

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Heat wave causes
dangerous conditions



Jeff Broadway carries a package off his UPS truck on Tuesday as hot temperatures continue to be a hindrance to those who must work outside. Heat advisory warnings are in place, and Broadway said they are being constantly reminded to drink plenty of water.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen Hunt

Vivian Heyl
Staff Writer

With temperatures continuing to soar into the triple digits again this week the Arkansas Department of Health announced the first heat-related death in the state on Monday.

Arkansas typically has between five and 11 deaths each year attributed to excessive heat. There are several deaths with suspected heat-related causes pending official death certificate verification.

The National Weather Service out of Memphis has issued a warning that extreme heat will continue to be a problem over the next few days. With temperatures rising to near 100 degrees or greater, a heat index of 110 or above is possible each day. On Tuesday the heat index was at 114 degrees at 2 p.m.

NWS forecasters warn that conditions are favorable for even hotter temperatures to develop over today and Thursday with a possibility of recording the hottest temperatures so far this year. A 20 percent chance of rain and slightly cooler temperatures are tentatively forecast for the first of next week.

The health department and the weather service have issued reminders that heat stroke is a serious medical emergency. Symptoms include the sudden cessation of sweating, high body temperature, disorientation, difficulty breathing, seizures and unconsciousness.

Infants, the elderly, athletes and outdoor workers are at the greatest risk for heat stroke.

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