• Last modified 2488 days ago (July 2, 2012)


Workers handle the heat

News editor

High temperatures have hovered around 100 degrees for the past week, prompting many reasonable Marion County residents to stay indoors. Some people have to work outside, though, so those people have to find other ways to endure the heat.

Milford Klaassen of Hillsboro has a lot of experience finding ways to stay cool. He spends his summers mowing as many as 50 yards a week with his son, Michael Klaassen, as JAMM mowing.

“This week has been the worst week we’ve had because of the high temperatures,” he said. “But that’s just part of the job … have to put up with it.”

To minimize the effects the heat has on him, Milford Klaassen likes to start work early when the temperatures are coolest. He was working by 6 or 6:30 a.m. every day the past week, he said.

Mail carrier Troy Thompson of Marion has his own tactic for avoiding the worst heat.

“Try to stay in the shade as much as possible,” he said.

It is an obvious idea, but it has worked well for him. On the hottest days, he takes additional measures.

“Sometimes I’ll have a wet rag to wipe down once in a while,” Thompson said.

“I’d jump in the pool if I could, but that doesn’t happen until after work,” he said with a grin.

Even with plans to stay cool, people who spend their summers outside know they are going to sweat. And when they do, they need to rehydrate.

“We drink a lot of water,” Michael Klaassen said. “Doesn’t keep you cool, but helps keep hydrated.”

The Klaassens sometimes also take gallon jugs of water just to pour over their heads and wet down their shirts, but everything is dry again within minutes, they said.

When he knows he’s going to spend a lot of time in the heat, Michael Klaassen tries to avoid air-conditioning during the day. He said going from air-conditioning into 100-degree temperatures makes it feel even hotter.

“It’s mostly just a state of mind,” he said.

Last modified July 2, 2012