WINTHROP — Yes, it’s summer. And yes, it’s hot.

But this weekend, it’s going to be summer hot on an entirely more miserable level, and people already are planning for ways to beat the heat.

On Friday, Laura Dubreuil and Tina Murray staked out a spot in the shade at the Winthrop town beach and watched their kids, Reece Dubreuil, 9, Connor Dubreuil, 8, Grayson Murray, 6, and Oriana Murray, 3, play in the water and on the beach.

Their plans for a hot Saturday, the hottest so far of the season, were shaping up to be fairly straightforward.

“We plan to stay inside in the air conditioning,” said Dubreuil, of Winthrop. “The kids will go swimming. One has a pool party to go to, and the other one will come here.”

Murray said her family on Saturday will join friends who have a house in Owls Head near the beach.


“Other than that, we’re going to be home near the air conditioning,” said Murray, of Rockland.

Dubreuil said her family has an air conditioner, which they use to keep the heat at bay, and their cooling strategy includes ice pops and staying hydrated with drinks that might include more sugar than they normally are allowed.

Murray is grateful to have a heat exchanger at her home, which cools the house in the summer and keeps it warm in all but the coldest months. It came in handy last summer, during a three-week stretch of baking-hot weather.

“We are definitely snow people,” Murray said. “We like the snow.”

“I don’t like the hot weather,” Dubreuil said. “That’s why we live here, because it doesn’t get so hot.”

Earlier in the day, the National Weather Service in Gray issued a heat advisory for 11 a.m. Saturday to 7 p.m. Sunday, which means that a period of high temperature is expected. The combination of hot weather and high humidity creates a situation in which heat illnesses are possible.


“We have to cool our bodies,” said James Brown, National Weather Service meteorologist.

April Endicott finds respite from the heat Friday in a small portable pool in her driveway on West Street in Waterville as the temperature lingered in the low 80s. The mercury was forecast to spike even higher over the weekend, with high temperature in the mid-90s. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

Most of the time, that’s accomplished when people sweat; when the sweat dries, the evaporation helps cool the body.

“When there’s more moisture in the air, it’s harder for perspiration to evaporate, and it feels more hot,” he said.

While Friday was shaping up to be a warm day, Brown said the daytime temperature across central Maine would be higher Saturday, generally in the 90s, with high humidity. The lows Saturday night are not expected be lower than the 70s. And Sunday will be hot and humid again, although slightly less so.

“There will be a cold front that comes through,” Brown said. “By Monday morning, it will be in the mid-60s. The front will be almost through on Monday morning, and we’ll get into the cooler air; and the next day, we’ll be deeper into it.”

It’s not clear whether a temperature record will be broken.


“We might come close to breaking some records in the Augusta area,” Brown said. “It will have to get to 98 degrees to break the record for Saturday, but I don’t think it’s going to get to that.”

Because of spotty record-keeping over the course of years, he said, it’s hard to know whether records will break in Waterville or Skowhegan, because the data doesn’t exist  to make the comparison.

Even if records remain intact, the heat can be a hazard to human and animal health. As early as Thursday, the American Red Cross and Maine Animal Welfare had posted safety tips to follow in the heat to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which are serious, sometimes fatal conditions for both humans and animals.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention chimed in Friday with its own advice.

“Heat-related illnesses and deaths are preventable,” Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah said in a news release. “With hot weather, we are especially concerned about older Mainers, particularly those who live alone, because they are more likely to have serious health problems.”

In Maine, most of the people who are hospitalized for heat-related illness are 65 or older.


“Keeping cool, drinking adequate fluids and lying low, along with looking after our neighbors, families and friends will help us all to stay healthy during heat waves this summer,” Shah said.

According to the CDC, older people are most at risk of being hospitalized for serious heat-related illness. But most people in Maine who go to the emergency room with heat-related illness range in age from 15 to 64, and many are males. These illnesses may be a result of outdoor jobs or recreational activities

Others who are at risk for serious heat-related health effects include infants and young children, and people who work outside, have chronic health issues or have trouble caring for themselves.

For those who can’t avoid being outside in hot weather, the CDC recommends limiting activity to mornings and evenings and cutting down on outdoor exercise. If you are active during the heat of the day, be sure to stay hydrated either with water or a sports beverage, if that’s appropriate.

Communities across the region recognize that people might not be able to cool off at home and are offering other options.

In Gardiner, two options are possible. Gardiner Public Library, on Water Street, will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Wastewater Treatment Plant, at 540 River Ave., will be available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Both locations have seating and restrooms. For access to the treatment plant, call 215-3870 first to make sure someone is there to open the door.


In Augusta, the city’s three swimming pools will be open Saturday, and admission will be waived this weekend at Bicentennial Nature Park, which is open to Augusta residents only.

A forecast Thursday indicated the heat index — the combined effect of temperature and humidity — in Skowhegan would reach 101 degrees Saturday, but a subsequent forecast has scaled that back a little.

While Skowhegan doesn’t have an organized cooling center, Town Manager Christine Almand said people in town have said they’ve made plans to see a movie or go shopping to spend some time in air-conditioned buildings.

“The hospital makes a nice lunch,” Almand said. “It’s affordable.”

Lynne Woodside, left, and Katherine Carll watch from shore Friday as a pair of kayakers paddle in Maranacook Lake at the Winthrop town beach. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan

Other people have more options.

Katherine Carll, who lives in Hallowell, had staked out her own space Friday at Maranacook Lake in Winthrop with her friend Lynne Woodside.


On Saturday, she’ll stick around home long enough to watch the parade at Old Hallowell Day, and then she’ll seek a cooler place near the water for a few hours.

“We won’t go to Popham (State Park, in Phippsburg),” she said. “We might possibly come out here. It’s quiet, peaceful and lovely here.”

She said she doesn’t remember that summers were this hot when she was growing up in Hallowell. While she had always used a fan for cooling, Carll said her daughter insisted she get an air conditioner two years ago. And now, if she’s home when it’s hot, she’ll sit in front of the air conditioner with her cat and her dog.

“I spend a lot of time on the river,” she said. “It’s healing.”

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