More record-breaking temperatures hit the city
Appeal Staff Writer
Bottles, coolers and an urn-sized water jug sit on the backside of a protest sign next to three union workers wearing sleeveless shirts. The workers raise their arms, freckled by weeks of standing outside, to the sound of car horns.
It usually isn’t bad if they can stay under the shade on the sidewalk in front of the Nevada Supreme Court. But with the temperature Thursday at 104, close to the city’s all-time high, they said it was hard.
“The triple digits are tough,” said Rita Johnson, a member of Carpenters 971, which is protesting Metcalf Builders Inc. “But other than that, I can handle her pretty good.”
John O’Keefe, one of the other union members, said when it gets too hot, he soaks his head in a sink or dumps water over himself.
They sometimes run through sprinklers, too, Johnson said.
Though the city health department didn’t have any complaints because of the heat, the weather did force Sierra Pacific Power Co. to recommend northeast Carson City conserve power to avoid damaging the company’s systems. Wednesday, more than 12,000 customers in Reno lost power for hours due to melted circuits. Also, more than 4,500 customers around Dayton lost power for 45 minutes Wednesday because of equipment problems.
The conservation measures worked despite a record peak demand of electricity, according to Sierra Pacific spokesman Karl Walquist.
At 5 p.m. Thursday, demand peaked at 1,742 megawatts in the Northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe region. The previous all-time peak was 1,740 megawatts set July 18, 2005.
“We got through that OK,” Walquist said after the peak Thursday evening. “We didn’t have any problems thanks to people conserving energy.”
Kyle Mozley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Reno, said part of the reason for the record temperatures this week is the high-pressure system in the area. The exposure is caused by weak winds and fewer clouds.
“Not that we have a lot of clouds regularly,” he said.
• Contact reporter Dave Frank at email@example.com or 881-1212.