According to The Cadiz Record’s AccuWeather forecasting service, thermometers reached record highs on August 7,8, 9 and 12 with temperatures of 101, 101, 104 and 101 respectively. The heat, combined with a lack of significant rainfall since July 19 led Trigg County Judge/Executive Stan Humphries to issue an outdoor burning ban for the county.
“It’s effective until we have enough rain to end the drought. Hopefully the order will be rescinded really soon,” said Humphries. “The very extreme conditions have caused me as well as other counties to implement an absolute ban on outdoor burning. Everything is a tinderbox with 100-degree days and the wind blowing. There is no relief in site.”
Recently, the Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet issued a water shortage warning for Warren County, including the City of Bowling Green. The warning advises citizens that potable water levels in the Barren River have reached “critically short levels.”
City of Cadiz Public Works Director Kerry Fowler said that the municipal water supply obtained from a spring remains adequate. “At this time, we have no need for any water restrictions. Demand has increased. An average day in July saw 770,000 gallons of water pumped. Typically, we pump about 600,000 gallons.”
Barkley Lake Water District Superintendent Terry Goins was unreachable for comment about the district’s supply and demand during the drought.
Pennyrile Electric District Manager Ricky Turner said that hot weather increased demand for electricity, but not to the point of a shortage. “I haven’t heard a thing about any problems with supply. As far as I know, we are doing well.”
Turner said that demand for electricity reached a peak on August 7 with 32,095 megawatts. The previous high reached 32,008 megawatts on July 18 of last year. “No one has been asked to curtail usage. As hot as it was last week, we’ve had no overloads.”
Pennyrile’s Industrial Customers’ Manager Jim Robertson said that some manufacturers might be asked to cut usage or face higher rates during periods of greater demand in order to curtail stress on the system. “We can see this during hot or cold weather, or with other interruptions when we are unable to meet full demand.”
To save on power bills, Turner advised to leave thermostats on all times at a comfortable level, because lowering temperatures upon arriving home causes systems to run longer. “Turn off lights if you are not in the room. Appliances like TV’s and computers can generate heat and use power, so if they are not in use, turn them off. Replacing windows with two-pane glass can save money- that’s a known fact. Older heat pumps may not be as efficient as newer models, that can cut a bill as well.”
Robertson advised residents to close shades, curtains and blinds on the sides of homes facing the sun to keep temperatures lower.
A joint press release from Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Kentucky Department of health offered these tips to prevent heat related illness in the record-setting heat wave:
· Drink plenty of fluid. Increase your normal fluid intake regardless of your activity level. You will need to drink more fluids than your thirst level indicates. This is especially true for people age 65 or older who often have a decreased ability to respond to external temperature changes. In addition, avoid drinking beverages containing alcohol, because they will actually cause you to lose more fluid.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.