Heatwave continues through the week
Like a “Heat wave . . ..
Martha and the Vandellas made the song popular before Linda Ronstadt covered it in 1975.
Now most of BC, including much of the West Kootenay region, is getting a first hand feel of the lyrics as a heat wave, partly due to warm air from the desert southwest of the United States, pushes into the British Columbia Interior and blankets the province with temperatures in the mid 30’s.
And those afternoon temperatures from the mid 30’s to 40 degrees will continue through Wednesday.
Temperatures may exceed 40 degrees in several regions before a cooling trend returns the province to regular temperatures later in the week — dipping to a balmy 29 C by Saturday.
The hot weather is partly to blame for the Regional District of Central Kootenay issuing a swim advisory for Taghum Beach.
However, the weather did not deter some swimmers from trying to cool down in the waters at Taghum Beach.
The RDCK issued the swim advisory Thursday (July 10) due to poor water quality as bacterial counts exceeded Health Canada guidelines.
The RDCK collects water samples on a weekly basis at Taghum Beach to test for fecal coliform bacteria (E. coli).
Weekly monitoring protects swimmers from illnesses that may be linked to unacceptable bacteria levels, such as ear, nose and throat infection or stomach illnesses.
“The RDCK and Interior Health are recommending the public refrains from swimming at Taghum Beach until the beach water quality improves,” said Cary Gaynor, Parks Operations Supervisor at the RDCK in a media release.
With the heat wave expected to remain for at least most of the week, here are a few tips to stay cool thanks to Environment Canada, as there are many symptoms of heat-related illness, including thirst, dizziness, confusion, weakness and fainting/collapsing.
1. Stay hydrated.
– drink cool beverages (preferably water) irrespective of your activity intake. Don’T wait until you are thirsty.
– if your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask about increasing the amount of water you can drink while the weather is hot.
2. Keep cool.
– spend at least several hours each day in an air-conditioned facility (such as a shopping centre, library, community centre or restaurant).
– use public splash pools, water parks or pools or take a cool bath or shower.
– at current temperatures, fans alone are not effective. Applying cool water mist or wet towels to your body prior to sitting in front of a fan is a quick way to cool off.
– wear loose, lightweight clothing. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses.
– keep your home cool. Open windows, close shades, use an air conditioner and prepare meals that do not require an oven.
– avoid sunburn, stay in the shade or use sunscreen with SPF 30 or more.
– avoid tiring work or exercise in the heat. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of non-alcoholic fluids each hour.
– never leave children or pets alone in a parked car. Temperatures can rise to 52 c within 20 minutes in an enclosed vehicle when the outside temperature is 34 c. Leaving the car windows slightly open or “cracked” will not keep the inside of the vehicle at a safe temperature.
3. Check in on others.
– check regularly on people living alone who may be at high risk of severe heat related illness. This includes seniors, those who are unable to leave their homes and anyone who may not be spending at least several hours every day in air-conditioned places. – if they are unwell, move them to a cool shady spot, help them get hydrated and call for medical assistance if required.
4. Get informed.
– check the local news for health and safety updates.
– for more information on heat-related illness, call healthlink BC at 811.
– contact your Local Government to find out what services (such as air conditioned buildings and public splash parks) are available in your area.
Medical health officers are reminding residents to protect themselves from the heat by staying hydrated, keeping cool and checking on others.