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Locals work to keep cool amid heat wave

Maderans should have a respite next week from a severe heat wave that ushered in the summer season this week. Until then, day-to-day life has been less than normal for many.

“The only time I go outside is to come to work,” said Katrina Valencia, front desk worker for All About Dance and Gymnastics. She doesn’t even step out for groceries, she admitted. “I stocked up before it started getting hot. So indoors with my dog. Air. Fans as well. Everything on blast.”

The family of Breanne Olguin, of Ag Right Enterprises, has mostly stayed indoors as well, with the exception of a a trip to Moss Landing and a visit to a water park. “It’s even so hot to go out in the pool. You have to go in the morning,” said Olguin, who said a relative’s black bottomed pool absorbed the heat all too well. “So basically it feels like bath water.”

Her children haven’t been bored though, thanks to their grandparents. “They’ve been (to the) movies where it’s cool in there,” she said. “This morning they went to Starbucks and sat inside. Tomorrow we’re going to the beach. But just iPads and movies and anything.”

The sweltering weather has had a “pretty big impact” on Peters Brothers Nursery, which has had to water some vegetation seven times a day due to the unrelenting sun.

“We did lose a good chunk of flats and bedding plants (last weekend) because we couldn’t control them drying up,” said co-owner Kurt Peters. “We have three actual full-time people just watering. We have our other stuff on drip, but still gotta touch it up. Because sometimes it doesn’t get enough water to the plants and they’re drooping … It’s a heavy concern to keep everything alive.”

That concern includes both plants and people. “We try to get our guys as much time that they can rest,” said Peters, who late this week doubled up the overhead cover of heavy, condensed cloth to shelter both the nursery stock and employees.

Peters estimates that he loses about 15-20 percent of his normal nursery clientele temporarily as home gardeners back off until the weather becomes more reasonable. The nursery’s landscape work, however, remains steady.

“We’re actually booked really until actual fall time,” he said, “but explain to people how to take care of the material after its installed. It’s a great thing. Or we’re over there replacing a lot of stuff because of lack of water.”

The National Weather Service has an excessive heat warning through Sunday, but the summer heat will continue. This weekend is expected to reach highs of 101 degrees today and 103 on Sunday. The thermometer may not drop below 100 until Monday with a high of 98.

For information on free cooling centers, call the Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services at 675-7770. Call 911 instead if suffering a true health emergency.

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