Heat wave warning issued for Havasu

 

Lake Havasu City has historically been the hottest municipality in the United States, with triple-digit temperatures throughout the summer months. It’s a place where eggs can fry on a sidewalk, cookies can be baked in a car, and the lake becomes more attractive to visitors than any other time of year.

The National Weather Service predicts Havasu’s first 100-degree temperatures to arrive on Thursday, and it’s only going to get hotter throughout the Havasu region as summer draws near.

High summer temperatures will require a little preparation, however, and a lot of precaution. While locals may anticipate the Havasu heat, newcomers might find themselves overwhelmed. According to Lake Havasu City Fire Battalion Chief Carl Stello, the city’s paramedics are trained to respond to environmental emergencies including heat stroke and heat exhaustion, which can be a common risk for outdoors enthusiasts during the summer months.

“If you have to go out, wear a hat and sunscreen and take a bottle of water with you,” Stello said. “Try to plan your outings during the coolest part of the day.”

According to Stello, Havasu residents and visitors should stay hydrated, and avoid sweetened drinks, caffeine and alcohol to avoid dehydration. People should never leave children or animals alone in a vehicle, and try to stay cool by seeking out air-conditioned buildings. Residents and visitors can further ward off unwanted heat by drawing their blinds, using fans, taking cool showers and dressing in light and loose clothing.

Staying cool in Havasu isn’t always cheap, however. In a region where staying cool means staying safe, Havasu’s summer months create higher demand on Havasu’s power grid than any other time of year, according to UniSource spokesman Joe Barrios. And that can mean higher energy costs for Havasu residents.

“It’s the same every year, and we know what to expect,” Barrios said. “People will be counting on our services, especially for air conditioning. Their summer bills will increase, and it’s the time of year when our energy infrastructure is taxed the most.”

According to Barrios, a few tips to curb electricity costs this summer could require residents to block as much sunlight from their homes as possible, whether through window tinting, drapes or curtains. The use of ceiling fans or oscillating fans is encouraged, and properly sealing residences is a must.

“Use fans as much as possible,” Barrios said. “And try to reduce indoor heat sources, like ovens and other appliances, as much as possible. Check your air filters so your air conditioners work more efficiently, and make sure none of the vents are blocked so air can pass more easily through them. Use weather stripping to make sure there aren’t any leaks for cool air to get out. People can also look at energy-efficient options on our website.”

Barrios also says some experimentation with the thermostat might also be prudent.

“Start at 78 degrees,” Barrios said. “Then adjust it as high as possible … some people require flexibility, however. See how high you can keep the temperature and still be comfortable. For every one degree increase temperature, it’s about a two or three percent cost savings.”

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(2) comments

tomgarven

Good advice from Uni-source. Start at 78 F and work up from there if you can. Oh and don't buy any new air conditioning system rated at less than 16 SEER. Better yet go with a couple of split AC systems which only cool the room you need cooled. Those have ratings of over 20 SEER and for each number higher you save about 6-7% on your electric bill.

But there is one thing that bugs me about Havasu and that is all of the open space over our parking lots at our shopping mall and the numerous strip malls abound town. None of them have ground mounted solar panels above their parking areas providing clean energy to the consumer in the buildings NOR does it provide shade for customers to park under during shopping. That is a crying shame.

Solar panels provide shade for shoppers cars so the steering wheels don't get so darn hot it almost burns our hands. We have ground mounted solar systems on our city parking lots and selected school parking areas. But in areas like our Mall and stores like JCPenney, Walmart, or our strip malls we haven't installed ground mounted solar to park under. We need to be thinking about how we can design a city, community and business partnership to install solar covered parking areas. And our summer visitors will certainly appreciate it as so will our local residents. That is why the only grocery store I shop at in the summer is Bashas.

What we need is an incentive for our Mall's businesses and other strip mall owners around town to install solar. I would much sooner see our City partner with members of the community and major shopping center lease holders than some of the less productive things we have spent money on. Solar can be a money maker when done correctly. These types of solar systems could be paid for by a private party investor or citizens who buy shares/stock in such a company in partnerships with businesses who intended to use the solar power. The solar panels would be mounted over the parking areas of the participating businesses who would be given first access. At least then we would have some shade to park under during the heat of the day.

That is just my opinion and I welcome all opposing points of view.

Ashackelford19

I agree 100%

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