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Peak humidex values into 40s over next few days in Stratford

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It's a hot spot at the intersection of Shakespeare and Nile streets -- especially if have to stand there all day in hardhat and work boots holding a stop sign.

That’s Steve Jasek’s job this week at the edge of the Shakespeare St. reconstruction site.

Staying on your feet on one spot isn’t easy, he said, but it would be worse for the heat if he was digging down in a hole with no breeze.

That’s a job he sometimes does for Ellis Construction.

“I don’t mind it,” he said of the flagman’s task on Monday, even as the temperature at noon hovered around 30 C.

“As long as you’ve got the breeze it’s pretty good.”

At least Jasek wasn’t cutting paving stone with a 25-pound rotary saw like Wouter Cleef.

Cleef and work partner Adam Scheerer were doing some landscaping work with A Touch of Dutch at a housing subdivision at the northeast edge of town.

“When we know it’s a hot week we try to not burn ourselves out,” said Scheerer.

They always have ice water on hand, he said, and customers often offer water as well.

Scheerer took the added step Monday of bringing a beach umbrella to work -- a smart move for work in a new subdivision where shade trees are absent.

Postal worker Chris Miller, who was delivering mail house to house in the Cobourg St. area, was carrying a frozen water bottle as well as her usual load of mail.

When it’s hot she uses a frozen neck cloth as well, she said, and “paces” herself.

For the record, she was moving at quite a pace Monday when she was intercepted for a brief interview.

She said she walks 25 km to 32 km on a typical day and navigates more than 3,000 stairs.

“I hate it worse than the winter,” she said of the heat. “In the winter you can put more clothes on. In the summer you can’t take them off.”

Not everyone out in the heat Monday was there because they had to be there.

Diane Mitchell of Stratford and friend Peggy Rivard of London were geared up for a golf tournament at the Stratford Country Club and, not surprisingly, they weren't complaining.

“It’s nice to be able to play dry,” said Mitchell, referring to previously wet weather on the course.

“This is just fun so it’s OK ... if this was January we’d pay hundreds of dollars to get this kind of weather.”

Peak humidex values in the low 40s are expected for the next several days due to the arrival of a more humid air mass combined with temperatures in the low 30s, says Environment Canada.

More comfortable weather is expected Friday when humidex values are expected to drop below 40.

donal.oconnor@sunmedia.ca

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