Heat wave making work miserable for some

By: James Hopkins Email
By: James Hopkins Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Record heat is making it dangerous to stay outdoors for long, but some have no choice.

This spring started off cooler than normal. "This year was great at the beginning because it was so mild," says Shane Allerheiligen of AAA Landscaping.

But things changed quickly, from a record low of 36 degrees two weeks ago to two triple digit record highs this week.

"Very hard to get yourself acclimated to it," says Jack Albright. Albright has been working outside on the road crew for almost nine years and is used to hot summers, but this spring is harder than most. "This year it is just because of the drastic change in just a short period of time," says Albright.

His job is a bit hotter than most. The asphalt he works with is an average 300 degrees. "It gets miserable because you have to stand in it to rake it," says Albright.

Albright, like many others, has found some pretty creative ways to stay cool as the mercury climbs. "We take bandannas and freeze them," says Albright.

"Carry a cooler of ice water with towels, wrap towels around our necks," says Allerheiligen.

"When it's summer time I wear lighter shirts," says Patrick Solbach. For construction workers like Solbach, this week's record highs are nothing unusual for Grand Junction, he's seen it hotter, "104 to 105 I guess." So when it comes to keeping cool he keeps it simple. "Just drink lots of water," says Solbach.

Allerheiligen agrees, "The easiest thing we can do is hydrate, drink lots of water." That's not the only thing the cooler of water is good for. "Soak the shirts, soak the hats, whatever we can do," says Allerheiligen.

Because no matter what Mother Nature throws at this group of workers, quitting is not an option. Luckily these guys will only have to deal with this heat wave for the next few days. Relief should be here by the end of the week as temperatures dip back down below normal.

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