A hot stretch of summer in the Central Valley is hard on everybody, from animals at the zoo to air conditioning technicians.
The weather hit a high of at least 106 degrees, according to Weather Underground, a private weather monitoring firm.
Here’s a look at how Lodians deal with days of triple-digit weather.
If a cool space set up especially for hot days sounds good, visit the Lodi Public Library on Locust and Church streets. The library is a designated cooling center for the City of Lodi and provides an air conditioned space and cold water for anyone who needs it.
“We notice a spike in attendance when it gets to be over 100 degrees,” said Dean Gualco, library director. “We see about a 20 percent increase between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on a hot day compared to a normal day.”
Major Mark Thielenhaus with the Salvation Army said they have a cooling station at the Hope Harbor Family Service Center at 222 North Sacramento St. The station is opened from noon to 4 p.m. daily.
“Its a chance to get out of the elements and stay cool,” Thielenhaus said.
He said anyone is welcome to come to the cooling center.
Some Lodi residents don’t have time to relax in a cooling center this time of year. Kevin Gutierrez, owner of All-Air Heating and Air Conditioning, says his company is dealing with a huge call volume this week.
“We’re getting a lot of calls from customers that didn’t perform maintenance on their system earlier in the season,” he said. “Now they’re susceptible to failing after running on multiple 100-degree days.”
Gutierrez does his best to prioritize customers that are most in need of a cool home, such as the elderly, families with young children or others with medical issues. Out of 40 calls on Tuesday, he and his staff were able to help 15 customers. As a result, the schedule is booked through Aug. 14.
“Everyone thinks their air conditioner breaking is an emergency, but for some people it really is,” he said. “Right now we’re looking to serve those immediate needs. It could be life-threatening for some people.”
According to Deputy City Manager Jordan Ayers, the city is following Cal/OSHA guidelines for fighting the heat.
Precautions they have suggested to their employees include allowing sufficient time for the body to adjust to working in the heat, drinking plenty of cool water and keeping shaded from direct heat. The city also advises that their employees work in pairs, wear protective clothing, take frequent rest breaks in cooler areas, pace work by starting slowly and picking up the pace gradually, perform the heaviest work during coolest part of the day, reduce the use of equipment that produces excess heat, use fans where possible and wear water-soaked neckbands or headbands to aid the cooling process.
The city also lays out the signs and symptoms of heat cramps, heat syncope, dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and first aid precautions for each illness for its employees.
On hot days like Tuesday, Ayers suggests people find a place that’s air conditioned and stay indoors.
Public Works Director Charley Swimley said the heat shouldn’t affect the water supply, but people might experience warmer water coming through the pipes in their homes. Public Works is making sure its employees are taking frequent breaks and staying hydrated.
“It’s a serious issue. Often times our maintenance crews are directly exposed to the elements and are working with machinery that produces heat,” Swimley said. “We’re proud of the workers of the City of Lodi who go out and do their jobs to the best of their ability whether it’s 35 degrees or 105 degrees.”
Lodi Police Lt. Sierra Brucia said that they don’t typically receive a lot of calls due to the heat but every once in a while they receive a call for a child or pet left in a hot vehicle. Matt Wilson 7/26/16 Brucia said he has not noticed an increase of the homeless committing crimes to get out of the heat, noting that it happens more in the winter. However, he has Brucia also said that the homeless tend to migrate to waterways like the river or the lake where it’s a little cooler, and they have access to water.
Brucia suggested that people stay in cool areas and drink plenty of water and reminded citizens that the temperature in a vehicle can be much higher than it is outside and to keep that in mind when they leave a child or pet in the car.
Lodi Fire Chief Larry Rooney said that his department tends to see an increase in calls on days when the temperature reaches over 100 degrees. Rooney advises citizens to stay inside, especially if they have a medical condition, and that if they do go outside to stay in shaded areas.
According to Rooney, the risk of fire is higher in these temperatures, so citizens should use extra precaution around dry brush.
At Micke Grove Zoo, the animal care staff keep bottles of water with them as they move from one enclosure to the next. Some of the animal enclosures that get a lot of sunshine have misting fans set up to blow cool air into the animal’s living space.
“The oldest animal is our turkey vulture, but he gets the breeze over there,” said Kelly Morris, zoo office manager. “The spider monkeys have misting fans. They are very well taken care of, just like kids.”
Lodi Health Emergency Department Medical Director and Board Certified Emergency Physician Dr. Xavier Salinas reported an increase in heat related injuries on hot days and stressed the importance of taking precautions in these conditions.
“As temperatures rise, heat-related injuries are increasing. Staying out of the heat is the best way to avoid these injuries. If you must go outside, it is best to take precautions, such as applying sunscreen and keeping adequately hydrated.”