Summer heat increases smog risk, impacts air quality

August 21, 2012

Summer in Western Washington means a respite from the rain, but the season also brings wildfires and increased ozone levels.

The result is diminished air quality and increased health risks for people battling heart and lung diseases.

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Use caution if working outdoors in hot conditions

August 18, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 18, 2012

The state Department of Labor & Industries reminded people working outdoors to take steps to prevent heat-related illness amid near-record temperatures.

In Washington, workers in the roofing, highway construction and agricultural fields can be particularly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses in warm weather.

Since 2008, Washington has had a workplace-safety rule on outdoor heat exposure to protect workers from heat-related illness.

The rule requires employers with employees working outdoors to train workers and supervisors on the symptoms of heat-related illness and what to do if someone develops a heat-related illness.

Employers also must provide plenty of water for workers, be able to respond appropriately to any employee with symptoms of illness and include heat-related-illness hazards in the company’s accident prevention program.

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King County leaders offer tips for residents to beat heat

August 16, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. Aug. 16, 2012

King County leaders offered tips Thursday for residents to help residents cope as near-record temperatures broil the region.

Officials offered information for residents to remain safe in the high temperatures, prevent wildfires in the dry conditions and encourage safety on the water, as people seek relief in lakes and rivers.

King County is under a regional excessive heat warning. The alert means the region is in a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures, and the combination of heat and humidity can cause heat-related illnesses. The excessive heat warning is in effect until 11 p.m. Friday.

In Issaquah, temperatures exceeded 90 degrees Thursday and should top 90 again Friday.

“Our region is known for rain, not hot weather like this,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “Extreme heat can be dangerous, even deadly, so we are urging everyone to take precautions to keep cool and stay safe.”

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Temperature to inch close to 100 degrees in Issaquah

August 16, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Aug. 16, 2012

Expect the temperature to climb to almost 100 degrees in Issaquah on Thursday, as the week comes to a simmering conclusion.

National Weather Service meteorologists in Seattle forecast a high temperature near 96 and sunny conditions for Thursday. Expect a high temperature near 94 and sunny conditions on Friday. The high temperature is expected to drop to a more manageable 82 degrees Saturday.

Issaquah is under a regional excessive heat warning. The alert means the region is in a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures, and the combination of heat and humidity can cause heat-related illnesses. The excessive heat warning is in effect until 11 p.m. Friday.

The city is also under a regional red flag warning, meaning a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and high temperatures can create explosive fire potential. The red flag warning is in effect until 11 a.m. Thursday.

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Heat-related smog advisory issued for King County

August 15, 2012

NEW — 4:30 p.m. Aug. 16, 2012

Puget Sound Clean Air Agency forecasters said smog pollution in King and Pierce counties could reach unhealthy levels as temperatures rise to 90 degrees and beyond.

Smoggy conditions should mostly impact communities in the Cascade foothills, including Issaquah. Pollution generated by vehicle traffic and activities in the urban areas of Everett, Seattle and Tacoma accumulates as particles move to outlying suburban and rural areas.

Smog levels may remain elevated in the Cascade foothills through Saturday. The agency offers a tool for residents to check air quality in Issaquah and other locations.

Exposure to smog can trigger asthma attacks, make breathing difficult, exacerbate lung and heart problems, and weaken the immune system. The state Department of Health recommends for people sensitive to air pollution to limit time spent outdoors.

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Use safety precautions to stay cool as mercury rises

August 15, 2012

NEW — 12:15 p.m. Aug. 15, 2012

The mercury is expected to surpass 90 degrees Wednesday and in the days ahead, and as temperatures rise, so do the risks for heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

National Weather Service meteorologists in Seattle forecast highs of 89 for Wednesday, 95 for Thursday and 96 for Friday — hot enough to trigger a regional excessive heat watch. Thursday and Friday could rank among the hottest days of 2012.

State public health officials recommend for people seeking relief from high temperatures to visit air-conditioned places, such as public libraries, shopping malls or movie theaters. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help people stay cooler once they get back into the heat.

In Issaquah, city officials monitor the community through the police department and other resources before making a decision to open a public cooling station.

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Pets face challenges, too, as temperature climbs higher

August 15, 2012

NEW — 12:15 p.m. Aug. 15, 2012

Pet owners can follow simple steps to keep pets cool as the mercury surges past 90 degrees.

Because animals cannot sweat like humans and can overheat quickly, especially as the temperature rises above 70 degrees, remember to provide plenty of fresh, cool water to pets, and shade from the sun.

Owners should not leave pets inside a vehicle, especially on warm days.

In sunny weather, the temperature inside a car can quickly rise to 120 degrees or more, even with windows left slightly open. Animals left in a hot car, even for just a few minutes, can suffer from heat stroke, brain damage or death.

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Use caution, common sense to keep pets safe all summer

May 17, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. May 17, 2012

Regional Animal Services of King County reminds pet owners to keep animals safe as temperatures rise and spring changes to summer.

Animals cannot sweat like humans and can overheat quickly, especially as the temperature rises above 70 degrees.

Be sure to provide plenty of fresh, cool water to pets, and shade from the sun.

Though pets need exercise during warm weather, take extra care when exercising older dogs, short-nosed dogs and dogs with thick coats. On hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours.

Another danger is leaving pets in a vehicle, especially on warm days.

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Issaquah tragedies, triumphs define a tumultuous year

December 28, 2010

Traffic lines up on state Route 900 at Northwest Talus Drive in February. State Department of Transportation crews completed the long-running project in 2010. By Greg Farrar

The economy lurched from the recession, population growth all but stalled and Issaquah — after cutbacks and setbacks in 2009 — defied the odds to reach major milestones throughout 2010.

Momentum returned in 2010 after a year spent in a holding pattern. Set against the backdrop of a fragile recovery, leaders cut the ribbon on businesses and roads, laid the foundation for preservation and construction, and marked tragedies and successes. Read more

Hot spell is no sweat for residents

July 13, 2010

Temperatures in Issaquah rose into the 90s last week, as summer weather made a belated debut.

The area posted records July 7-9 with three days that sent the mercury soaring past 90 degrees at Sea-Tac International Airport, where official measurements are taken, National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike McFarland said.

The 90-degree heat July 7 and 95-degree heat July 8 broke records set at 88 degrees in 1953, while the 93-degree record July 9 broke the record of 91 degrees set in 1985, he said.

During the hot spell, police officers, city officials and firefighters said they kept busy with routine calls, but there were few instances of people in distress due to it.

“There were a few calls from folks who were worried about dogs left in vehicles, but the dogs were all OK,” city spokeswoman Autumn Monahan wrote in an e-mail.

There weren’t any cases involving heat-related injury or illness, Eastside Fire & Rescue spokeswoman Josie Williams said.

The local American Red Cross chapter and Public Health – Seattle & King County reminded Issaquah and King County residents — including children, the elderly and people with chronic health issues — to take precautions to address the heat and stay safe.

To help, The Issaquah Valley Senior Center, 75 N.E. Creek Way, opened its doors to everybody who wanted to use the building as a cooling shelter.

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