A scorching heat wave has broken temperature records in at least four Georgia cities. The National Weather Service reported Sunday that temperatures reached 105 degrees in Atlanta, breaking a record of 99 degrees set in 1954. It was even hotter in Athens, where the thermometers reached 108 degrees, beating a record set in 1927 by five degrees.
Georgia is in for a dangerously hot weekend. Temperatures could climb above 100, with heat indices expected between 105 and 110. Fulton County seniors looking to beat the heat can find free shelter at one of several facilities that will serve as "cooling centers."
Authorities say heat has claimed the lives of 14 dogs at a Waycross animal shelter in the past three months, including a seven-month-old puppy that died Wednesday. Okefenokee Humane Society shelter manager Ben Hood says the 14 dogs died of heatstroke in the kennel, which has no fans because it lacks electricity.
The issue of physical activity in dangerously hot weather is back in the spotlight after the deaths of two Georgia high school football players. Locust Grove player Forrest Jones and Fitzgerald's DJ Searcy both died on Tuesday. The deaths come as teams statewide start practices in dangerously hot weather.
The summer heat means more energy demand on the state's largest electricity producer. But Georgia Power isn't seeing any unusual spike compared to last year. Spokesman Lynn Wallace says, the company is turning on smaller and less-efficient generators to meet demand.
Savannah-Chatham Metro police are taking the city's top investigative officer and putting him in charge of patrol. The leadership shake-up follows a crime spike that led to four murders in a two-week period. Other violent crimes also increased as temperatures climbed at the end of June.
Georgia’s last drought shut down half of the state’s nurseries and garden centers by some estimates. The current hot, dry weather brought spring sales to a sudden end for many nurseries this year. But since no new water-use restrictions have been implemented, growers and garden centers are doing OK.
The Georgia Branch of Associated General Contractors of America is calling for a “safety stand-down” Aug. 3. During the statewide work stoppage – lasting from 5 minutes to an hour, depending on the job site – supervisors and workers will learn how to spot heat illness and prevent it.
Several Georgia communities have shelters open to help people battle the heat blanketing the central and southern portions of the state. Augusta-area residents can find cool air in shelters in Columbia and Richmond counties. They’re open all summer, not just for this heat wave. And the City of Atlanta is also operating three neighborhood centers for those who need to escape the heat.
Forecasters are warning of dangerous heat for much of the state Wednesday. In portions of southeast Georgia, the National Weather Service has a heat warning in-place into Wednesday evening. Elsewhere, a heat advisory is forecast for much of the state.