Local Hattiesburg workers endure extreme temperatures

By: Karrie Leggett

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - July saw record setting heat across much of the country, and we are seeing little relief in August.

According to Julius McCullum, who does land scaping for Southern Miss, ridiculous is the only way to describe working in temperatures that are reaching triple digits.

"We just have to come prepared; that's why I got on a long sleeve and a big hat, and the ear plugs. We have to just figure out a way to keep the sun off of us," said McCullum.

Rust Postlewate, Director of Physical Plant at USM, says one way the workers try to beat the heat is by starting their days as early as 6:30 a.m.

"Early in the morning it is probably 80 (degrees) already when its like this. It's already 80 (degrees), so it's still pretty warm. We tell them to be careful, watch it, have plenty of water with you.  Make sure they have frequent breaks, come into air conditioning at lunch time and some things like that to cool back down," said Postlewate.

James Burge, of Burge Excavating, says most at risk to the heat are road crew workers. Working with asphalt makes the temperature feel like its hotter than the temperature index.

"Because the asphalt is so hot, it makes the temperatures much hotter. So, they do need more breaks," said Burge.

The dog days of summer bringing with them extreme heat and humidity with little relief in sight.

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