70 degree swing

Just 12 days ago, area residents were digging out from a late spring storm that brought nearly 6 inches of snow to Webster County.

Tuesday, many were doing what they could to cope with the extreme heat as temperatures hovered in the upper 90s most of the day.

While the Fort Dodge Community Schools did not dismiss early due to the heat, many students could be found in their classrooms keeping cool.

With windows open and fans on, students in Patty Carlson’s first grade classroom at Cooper Elementary School made paper fans and sipped water bottles to beat the heat as school wound down for the day.

“It’s just hot out there today, and in here too,” said first-grader Shaphan Cheatom as he fanned himself with a homemade fan constructed from a piece of notebook paper.

While out for afternoon recess, first-grader Laurynn Anderson said she and her friends found a shady spot to stay out of the hot sun.

“When we were outside we ran to all the shade we could find,” said Anderson.

While the hallways of the building remained cool and most classrooms somewhat comfortable, Cooper Principal Bruce Hartley said the students and staff were dealing with the sudden temperature changes as best as they could.

“The temperatures haven’t been too bad,” said Hartley. “But when the kids were outside a lot of them went straight for the shade under a tree or under the slides.”

Some even embraced the heat.

“Even a few girls said they were going to get a suntan,” said Hartley. “It’s just one of those things where we have to deal with the Iowa weather and we’ve been doing that for a long time so we know how to adjust.”

Construction workers at the site of the new Windstone Circle Townhomes near U.S. Highway 169 had spent much of the day in the sun preparing for the foundation of one of the new homes to be poured.

Cory Nielsen, owner of Nielsen Concrete said he and his employees just drink as much water as possible to keep cool.

“You just have lots of water,” he said.

The hot day also kept employees of the Dariette in downtown Fort Dodge busy as a steady stream of cars kept moving through the drive-thru.

“We’ve been busy since we opened,” said Dariette employee Emily Eastwood. “It’s been steady. Most of the business comes from the drive-through on days like this; it’s just too hot on our patio and we can’t put the umbrellas up at the tables because of the wind.”

Billy Jack, of Otho, didn’t seem to mind the heat as he and his sons stopped for some ice cream at Dariette.

“I’m loving it,” he said. “I’m originally from West Virginia so this isn’t too bad.”

Nielsen’s description of the recent weather may have best summed up the past few weeks.

“You know, a little over a week ago we were scooping snow,” he said. “Today I feel like I’m frying my head.”