Triple-digit temperatures continued to bake the central San Joaquin Valley on Wednesday as people in the region searched for a place to cool off.
Fresno's high temperature of 107 degrees was the second-highest of the year, behind 109 on June 17.
The Wednesday high wasn't a record for the day in Fresno (110, in 1961), but it did mark the fourth straight day in triple digits. Highs above 100 are forecast for the next four days, with today expected to top out at 104 with increasing humidity.
Some took respite in small delights, such as 7-Eleven's themed giveaway: free 7.11-ounce cups of Slurpees most of Wednesday, which was 7/11.
"We had a crazy rush," said employee Jayna Smith at the store at Palm and McKinley avenues, "There were even 15 people lined up before we even started."
Fresno State student Kaela Jones said July 11 has grown into a pseudo-holiday for her and friends: "We map out all the different stores and go to as many as we can."
Rotary Storyland and Playland closed Wednesday citing the heat as a safety concern for staff and visitors. Fresno Unified School District canceled athletic practices for the remainder of the week, district spokeswoman Susan Bedi said.
For Tobbi Biglione, CEO of Valley Air Conditioning and Repair, a heat wave equals calls for maintenance on air conditioning units.
"There is always a panic when they see the forecast -- so we get a flood of calls when consecutive triple-digits hit and more calls when heat lasts for a long period of time because people run their units for long periods of times," Biglione said.
Biglione recommended that people pay for preventative maintenance ahead of the summer season to ensure their units don't breakdown on days like Wednesday.
The Island Water Park and Wild Water Adventure Park both reported spikes in attendance Wednesday. Island sales manager Kristi Beck said her park near Shaw Avenue and Highway 99 had 1,660 visitors Wednesday, up more than 700 from Tuesday. A Wild Water spokesman said about 2,500 people came to the Clovis park Wednesday.
While Wednesday marked a high point, a high pressure system accompanied by monsoonal moisture is expected to cause humidity to build, said National Weather Service meteorologist Modesto Vasquez.
By next week, the southern San Joaquin will finally get some relief as high temperatures drop into the mid-90s, Vasquez said.
Staff writer Marc Benjamin contributed to this report. The reporters can be reached at (559) 441-6330, firstname.lastname@example.org