WATER VALLEY – Folks have been making jokes about the hot weather since the first Watermelon Carnival in 1931. However, this year the heat was no laughing matter.
Over half the emergency medical calls in the county on Friday and Saturday were heat related, according to Linda Cox, director of Yalobusha County Emergency Medical Services.
Out of 16 calls, nine were related to the sweltering temperatures that reached dangerous levels on Saturday. “There definitely was an increase,” Cox said. “I know we ran less heat calls last year.”
The combination of high temperature and high humidity prompted the National Weather Service to issue a excessive heat warning early Saturday morning which ran through 8 p.m. Sunday. The area was already under an excessive heat advisory.
According to the NWS, an excessive heat warning means that a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures will occur in which heat illnesses are likely. Temperatures hovered in the high 90s and may have inched over 100. The heat index reached almost 120 degrees.
There were three additional medical calls to the area around the park which were not directly related to the heat, Cox added. All three were identified as trauma calls.
One was associated with the severe thunderstorms that moved through on Thursday night. A carnival vendor suffered a broken arm after it became entangled in their booth canopy during high winds.