It’s darn hot

For those who think it’s hot, and it is – Thursday’s high was in the low 90s, the heat index just a degree from three digits – a few hours in Steven Johnson’s work boots might make them complain a bit less.

Johnson, who works for Flagger Pros USA, spends his day standing on hot pavement directing traffic along Webster County Road P59.

It’s hot enough that he doesn’t stand still on the fresh pavement very long.

“My feet will stick to the stuff,” Johnson said.

It makes a long day longer.

“It’s more than eight hours. It’s usually 11 to 12.”

To cope with the heat, Johnson drinks lots of water.

He’s also careful to point out that the crew up the road has it worse; the asphalt is more than 300 degrees when it comes off the delivery trucks.

While the heat means long days and hot toes for Johnson, it means wet toes and lots of visitors to the Rosedale Rapids Aquatic Center.

Jim McCormack, pool supervisor, said they hit the facility’s rated capacity of 1,200 people one day last week and the hot weather could mean a repeat of that.

“It looks like we’ll hit it again today too,” he said.

The heat is bringing out many new families and visitors from the area to the pool, he said.

They make an extra effort to keep the staff cool too.

“We make sure they have lots of cold water,” he said.

They also have to take a dip now and then.

“During their breaks, the lifeguards get in for 10 minutes,” McCormack said.

Rachael Cook, of Fort Dodge, one of the hundreds in the water Wednesday, was enjoying a day off and time with her daughter, Macy.

“I could be at home cleaning,” Cook said. “That will wait.”

Alex Mericle, of Fort Dodge, had spent most of the day at Rosedale Rapids. He stopped afterwards for a cool treat at the Tropical Sno stand by the Crossroads Mall with friends Nick Clark and Hank Crimmins.

“It’s scorching,” Mericle said. “It’s hot enough for two Sno-cones.”

The trio agreed on one thing: “We’re getting out of the sun.”

As the temperatures rise, in theory the sale of items such as air conditioners and fans should rise as well.

Lisa Campfield, hard line lead at the Fort Dodge Sears store, is surprised that their sales have only increased slightly.

“It’s not like we thought it would,” she said.

Ice cream sales, however, are on the increase – but only during part of the day.

Jo Seltz, co-owner of the Dariette in Fort Dodge, said that during the mid-afternoon, when it’s really scorching, there’s a lull in the action.

“It’s just too hot,” she said.

The problem is quick melting; most customers prefer eating their cone to wearing a melted one.

But later in the day, look out.

“Once the evening cools off,” she said, “we get swamped.”

Customers don’t have to worry about any shortages.

“There will be ice cream,” she said. “We won’t run out.”

The National Weather Service is predicting a high of about 93 degrees today.