ENVIRONMENT

St. George’s residents battle extreme heat

Jun 6, 2024, 6:18 PM | Updated: 6:29 pm

ST. GEORGE — When it starts getting hot outside, there is one spot in St. George many people start going to.

But when that hot is near record-breaking on Thursday, it was enough for Esmeralda Carter to drive a half hour from New Harmony just to bring her 3-year-old granddaughter to the downtown splash pad and water fountains.

“This is our go to place,” Carter said.

However, she is here a lot earlier than in years past.

“It is just a freak heat storm. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. I don’t know. It is supposed to be pretty hot,” Carter said with a laugh.

Many people who live in Southern Utah will tell you they get used to extreme heat.

“You do. You just full embrace it,” Stacey McAffee said, who visited the splash pad with her family. “I love the heat.”

Those triple digit temperatures, though, usually show up in July and August. Not now.

“For the first week of June, we are all kind of like, agh!” McAffee said with the kind of look on her face that says it’s hot outside.

The early heat is also why doctors here are a little worried.

“We went from the mid-80’s to now 110-ish today pretty quickly,” Dr. Richard Sorensen said.

Sorensen works in the emergency room at Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital and often sees patients with heat-related issues.

“It is at least a few times a week during the summertime. If not more,” he said.

Since it feels like summer right now, Sorensen is advising people to drink more water, wear sunscreen, and avoid going outside in the middle of the day. If you go outside to hike, bike, or walk, make sure to take breaks, especially if you are not used to this heat.

“We want people to come to Southern Utah and enjoy it,” Sorensen said. “It is beautiful. But you do have to protect against the heat like this.”

It is exactly why the splash pad and water fountain are such a popular place in St. George when it is hot.

For Carter, it is well worth the drive to get her granddaughter playing outside and still stay cool.

“I wish this was in my backyard,” she said with a smile.

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St. George’s residents battle extreme heat