Scalding heat had folks looking for ways to stay cool Friday, July 5, 2019. Thousands of people were at Gulf Shores beaches for the holiday weekend despite the temperature.
Temperatures reached the mid-90s. With a heat index well over 100 degrees, as you might expect, there was a sea of umbrellas across the beach. Taking a dip in the gulf seemed like a good idea. Gentle surf allowed for a safe way to get some relief and plenty of folks were taking advantage of it.
“We’ve been staying under umbrellas and drinking waters or some kind of electrolyte drink like Body Armor and just like staying in the water,” said Nate Fedor.
“You feel yourself heating up, you just take a dip and it makes a big difference,” Tara Summers added.
Staying hydrated and having a piece of shade was a must. Dana Burkhart from Louisiana rented chairs and umbrellas for some relief.
“It’s perfect because you walk out here, they have it set up for you and it’s minimal work,” Burkhart said.
Those without any shade made regular trips into the water and said they’d plan better next time.
“Tomorrow I will have an umbrella. It’s hot,” said Tracy Barham from Jasper, Alabama.
Despite the measures people take, beach safety officials deal with plenty of heat related problems and offered some warnings.
“We advise to drink plenty of water before you come out to the beach and also while you’re here. Avoid fast foods and anything that’s heavy on you. Seek shade. Have a shade umbrella or tent…canopy and avoid being out here too long. Just come out here, enjoy yourself for an hour and then seek AC,” explained Lt. Joethan Phillips with Gulf Shores Beach Safety.
Some warning signs that your body is beginning to overheat are nausea, excess sweating and lightheadedness. Safety officials recommend getting off the beach to someplace cool it you start to feel this way and if your symptoms don’t improve, call 911.