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Victoria survives first 100-degree day

June 28, 2013 at 1:28 a.m.

Summer camper Tanner Askew, right, 13, slides down an inflatable water slide outside The Heat Fitness on North Main Street. The slide was rented for a surprise fun day, The Heat Youth Program Director Virginia Pena said. Temperatures hit 102 degrees Friday.

Victoria survived its first blistering triple-digit scorcher for the year Friday, but weather forecasters say it's just the beginning.

Expect more through the weekend, they said.

The mercury hit 102 degrees about 3 p.m. Friday, breaking a four-year record by 1 degree for the date. The heat index was 105 degrees.

"We are under a warm air mass," said Waylon Collins, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

Crossroads residents can expect a sweaty Saturday as well with temperatures expected to top 100 degrees again.

Sunday's weather is expected to drop into the mid-90s with isolated chances of thunderstorms through Wednesday, said Todd Beal of the National Weather Service in Corpus Christi.

The severe heat triggered special precautions to some who had to work under the scorching sun while others said hot weather just comes with the territory.

On North Navarro Street, construction workers patching up the road over a newly installed sewer pipeline Friday afternoon beat the heat by taking regular breaks in the shade under a tree, cracking open Mr. Pibb, 7UP and Gatorade.

"You've got to be careful in the heat," said Joe Almaguer, general superintendent for construction company Triple B Services. "Don't wait for me to tell you you're overheated."

Almaguer said he has never seen a worker inflicted with a heat-related problem on site.

"When you're out there in the heat, you get used to it," he said.

Victoria resident Bobby Whitefield stood under the hot sun and over a hot grill Friday, cooking in the back parking lot of the Victoria Community Center. He was helping with the Warrior's Weekend fundraising event.

"We don't let the heat stop a good barbecue," said Whitefield. "It's a labor of love."

Record-setting heat has been the norm in Victoria the past two years.

In 2012, the temperature reached 100 on June 24 and stayed there or above through June 27, topping out at a record 108 on June 26, according to the National Weather Service.

Records were shattered in 2011 when Victoria had 25 consecutive days of 100-degree temperatures and 58 for the year, including a fifth-hottest ever of 109 on Aug. 28.

The earliest Victoria ever encountered 100 degrees was April 16 in 1920.

On Friday, Citizens Medical Center reported at least two people had been admitted for dehydration, a hospital spokeswoman said. Numbers at DeTar Hospital Navarro were not available.

At the Texas Zoo, some of the more intelligent animals such as the tigers and raccoons spent time Friday cooling off by sitting in water.

Amanda Rocha, zoo executive director, said caretakers inspect the tenants routinely throughout the hot day to make sure none get too stressed in the heat.

"We take a lot of precautions," Rocha said. "We have fans, misters and air-conditioning. ... It's about keeping them cool as much as we can."

She said all the animal bedding areas are air conditioned, and the baby animals are kept in cool areas throughout the day.



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