Region sizzles as heat wave bears down

A D.C. firetruck cools down heated protestors. Photo: WJLA

D.C. is sweating from the first heat wave of the year as temperatures climbed into the mid-90s on Monday.

About a dozen students from Warren G. Harding High School in Cleveland, Ohio, who played in the parade had to be treated for heat-related emergencies. Battalion chief Shelly Nickleson says four teenagers have been taken to a hospital. Others are being treated at 19th and Constitution Avenue.

A D.C. fire official said about twenty people had been taken to hospitals because of heat-related emergencies both from the Memorial Day parade as well as the Nationals game. Most were dehydrated or suffered from heat exhaustion, but some had more serious heat-related issues, the official said.

Thousands of people have used cooling stations that are set up along the Memorial Day parade route on Constitution Avenue at 7th, 14th and 18th Streets Northwest, D.C. Fire said. Officials said dozens of people have been assisted and four had to be taken to the hospital.

Temperatures feel like 100+ degrees

Linda Merriweather and Kevin Thompson had already staked out their parade-watching spot under a tree at barely 9 a.m. Monday morning.

"We just wanna lay here in the shade,” said Thompson, North Carolina resident. After this we'll move to the step and find as some more shade and sit there for the parade." Merriweather, a Maryland resident, added, "Hundred degree days just make you feel like you’re melting and the humidity is Ugh!"

A heat advisory is in effect for the region through Tuesday, which means heat and humidity combine to create temperatures that feel like 105 to 109 degrees.

{ }{ }{ } { }{ }{ } D.C. engine 25 is hosing down people at the end of the Memorial Day parade route. (Photo: Kris van Cleave)

Fans filing into Nats Stadium stocked up on bottles as they prepared to bake in the sun for the next several hours.

"We're going to try to hang out outside, if everyone's too hot we'll go in for a few, (then) come back out,” said Nats fan Howard Rubin.

Within an hour of the start of the game, cooling stations had to be set up. Four people were transported to hospitals, fire officials said.

Parade watchers Merriweather and Thompson were already looking forward to a cooling shower at home. "It's a lot of moisture -- you take a shower and get out and you feel like you need another shower because it is brutal," Merriweather said.

Runners, workers try to beat the heat

The high felt temperatures outside are forcing bikers, walkers and runner to get to their routines earlier than usual.

"Just went for a run today,” said Abby Flottvesch, a D.C. resident. “I got out early. Actually, I was surprised because we've had such a cool spring, but I walked out the door about 7:30 and was like, wow, it is hot!”

Tracy Simpson, too, stepped out early to enjoy his day on the water. If it gets too hot, he’s planning to retreat inside. “I got the air conditioning, so if it gets too hot, I'll just go down and cut the air conditioning on, and chill out," the Bowie resident said.

Those who have to work outside are trying to complete their tasks as quickly as possible. "You gotta work, snap snap, get it moving and get out of this heat,” said James Tate, rushing to make his beer deliveries.

For some people, the only true was to beat the heat is to hit water. Along the Southwest Waterfront, many boarded their boats for a day on the river. Families like the Penningtons have spent the entire holiday weekend boating.

"Being able to get out on the water where there's a breeze really makes a difference. It helps you stay cool," said Steve Pennington, Missouri resident.