Extreme Heat Drives Mid-Missourians to Pools

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COLUMBIA - The summer's extreme heat is driving more and more Mid-Missourians to the pools to cool off.

"Yeah, I come to the pool a lot cause it's really hot outside, and since it's summer it's just getting hotter and hotter," said Mira Sachdeb, who goes to Macher's Aquatic Center to swim. "It's so fun 'cause it's just so relaxing and cooling off."

But for some people, it might even be too hot to go to the pool.

"A lot of times when it's this hot, we don't see nearly as many families coming out to the pool as we would when the temperatures are just a little bit lower," said Stanton Idel, a City of Columbia aquatic specialist working at Albert-Oakland Family Aquatic Center.

Idel said the key to being outside for long periods of time is not being in the water, but drinking it.

"A lot of people think, 'I'm at the swimming pool, I'll stay cool all day' but it's really about being hydrated," said Idel. "If you're here and you're wanting to stay cool, that's great, but if you can't stay hydrated throughout the day it's really, really, hard to stay out,"

Pool employees have to watch out for the extreme temperatures, as well.

"We have ice towels for them and extra staff on hand so that way our guards are only on stand for 20 minutes at a time instead of 40 minutes," said Kristin Marema, manager of the Missouri Country Club pool.

Marema said her pool has two safety breaks in place every day for the rest of the week, in order to ensure the patrons are drinking enough water. Another way pools are helping everyone to keep cool is watering the pavement.

"I spray down the deck in front of the office, so when people are waiting in line it's not so hot on their feet," said Jonathon Temple, manager of Macher's Aquatic Center.

Temple said he encourages employees and customers to stay hydrated in order to avoid any heat related injuries.