16 days and counting at or above century mark

The Fresno BeeJuly 12, 2013 

A boy glides on his skateboard across Fresno's Cary Park before falling onto the hot, black surface. Then he gets back on his board again on Friday as the temperature climbed to near 100 degrees.

Justin Parsons, 11, doesn't care how hot it gets on the blacktop. "Just wanna go out there and skate," he said.

His boyish bravado notwithstanding, Friday marked the 16th day in a row with a triple-digit temperature in the city, and the heat could be felt throughout Fresno — especially the sea of asphalt at the Cary Skate Park on Fresno Street.

The park has a thick marble slab, which skaters are especially careful not to trip on because of how it heats up on hot days.

Brendon Parker, 20, once fell onto the marble and burned off part of his skin.

But Parker still goes out to the skate park every day, no matter how hot, "because skateboarding is life," he said.

Friday's temperatures topped out at 100 degrees, continuing a run of 100-or-higher temperatures that began June 27. Today should reach 102 degrees, as should Sunday, according to the National Weather Service in Hanford.

The triple digits are expected to stay through at least Monday, said Jim Andersen, a meteorologist for the NWS.

But he could not say whether the current heat wave would set the all-time record for triple-digit days. Fresno's current record is 21 days and was set in 2005.

Across town in Clovis, as the temperatures hung in the 90s Friday afternoon, men in bright orange shirts and long pants paved a shiny, reflective concrete driveway for Clovis Unified at the corner of Sunnyside and Herndon avenues.

Omar Marcado, the concrete finisher, glided over a wet slab that glistened like his forehead.

Marcado said when the temperature hits the triples, he gets tired faster, and it gets a little bit harder to breathe.

"It gets too hot and you can't concentrate on your job," he said.

Marcado, who has been with Graham Concrete for 12 years, said he stays in the shade and drinks plenty of water and Gatorade to cool off.

Ruben Reyna, the crew's foremen who is also from Graham Concrete, said that Friday wasn't too bad.

"If you're out in the sun all the time, 98-degree weather doesn't feel too bad," he said. "When it hits 105, you really feel it."

They are equipped with ice water, canopies and plenty of shade from nearby trees, Reyna said.

Reyna also is trained to recognize signs of heat stroke, and the company holds safety meetings on the topic once a week.

Reyna said the workers drink water every 15 minutes and sooner if needed to stay hydrated.

"And then, of course, you got to have a beer at the end of the day," Reyna said. "Celebrate that we made it another day."

 

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6371, qwestern@fresnobee.com or @Quinn_Western on Twitter.

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