Wilmington breaks heat record for fourth day of last six

Updated: May. 29, 2019 at 7:49 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Wednesday the Cape Fear hit 101 degrees, crushing a previous record for the fourth day out of the last six.

The Good Shepherd Center in Wilmington issued a white flag alert Wednesday due to the record-breaking heat. The white flag is put out during severe weather, and is an invitation for anyone in good standing there to stay overnight.

Assistant Director Kyle Abrams said there isn’t a set temperature that prompts them to put the flag out. The staff uses their judgement. Wednesday was the first time this season they’ve used the flag.

Abrams said the center was more crowded than normal for lunch Wednesday, and suspected heat played a role in that. The center offers breakfast, lunch, water and of course, air-conditioning.

“It’s difficult for people in certain weather events, especially the heat or the cold, to live outside and we want to offer that protection for people and also people who are coming and staying with us. They’re getting a hot meal at night,” Abrams said.

“They’re getting a shower. They’re getting the ability to get their closed washed. It’s a lot of different things that we provide,” he said.

Abrams expects the white flag to stay outside for the next few days. The center has 118 beds, so as long as they’re not taken by long-term residents, they’re open to those who need to get out of the heat, Abrams said.

Parents and kids retreat from heat at Splash Pad

Tons of toddlers cooled off at the Splash Pad at Hugh MacRae Park Wednesday, until it broke around 11 a.m. Crews fixed it shortly later.

The park, on the other hand, was not as crowded. WECT used a heat gun on the slide before 11 a.m. and the slide was 115 degrees. Moms at the park said after this morning, they planned to spend the next few days inside.

“This kind of heat usually comes around August, and it’s not even June yet. I think it’s catching a lot of people off guard. We’re not used to all of this and it really has some dangerous threats," mom Allison Abney said.

Eight-year-old Parth Patel played on the playground and said he felt like he got burned going down the slide.

“When I went down the slide, it was like burning hot and then we went on this little spinning egg and it was also hot, so we just took a break for water and man, I think we’re going to tan by the end of the summer, Patel said.

His advice to stay cool during this heat is to drink water and wear sunscreen.

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