27 days and counting of 100°+ temperatures
As of Thursday, July 21, 2011, Hutchinson County has had a total of 27 days that temperatures have exceeded 100 degrees. Hutchinson County Fire Marshal Danny Richards said there have been technical difficulties with the emergency communication because of the heat. Officials have to work extra hard in making sure everything technical is properly cooled down. Richards came to the conclusion that this excruciating summer started June 21 and will not end till September 21, meaning the area is only a month into summer. Many cities are asking for voluntary water conservation but, if conditions get worse the next step will be rationing water usage. Richards said that the county administration has taken care of its citizens when it comes to this particular issue. Hutchinson county doesn’t have to worry about such conditions, unless the drought gets much worse than it is now.“Not only are we going to break a lot of records, we are going to shatter them,” Richards said. One of these records highlights the fact that during the spring there were no signs of tornadoes, which Richards said is unusual. He also said that the community needs to understand that they need to stay out of the heat or be properly prepared, because heat exhaustion and strokes can occur in this type of weather. The long-term forecast appears to be the same down the road even for next year. Citizens may need to prepare for another round of 100 degree-plus temperatures. “Although the long term doesn’ t look good, the panhandle weather can change very suddenly. We still have our fingers crossed,” Richards said.This year, Hutchinson County doesn’t have to worry about outages, but needs to be prepared for them just in case they do happen.