Extreme heat inspires wading and other ways to cool off at Enofest

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Sunday, July 7, 2024
Extreme heat inspires wading and other ways to cool off at Enofest
Many people spent Saturday at Durham's Festival for the Eno in shaded areas while listening to live music.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Another day, another scorcher kept the sweat flowing as North Carolinians wound down the final weekend of a long holiday break. Many people spent Saturday at Durham's Festival for the Eno https://enofest.org/ in shaded areas while listening to live music.

Not far from one stage, vendor Marianne Donohue told ABC11 that after growing up and living in Los Angeles, the humidity and intense heat blanketing the Triangle are much more intense than conditions in southern California.

"I have not gotten used to it yet. I thought I would eventually, but it's part of living, she said. "I just drink a lot of water, go in the river, stay in the shade."

The Eno River helped many families cool off, as they took cooling dips in water shallow enough for safe wading. Eleanor Christopher, her husband and 4-year-old son smiled while she described their experience in the water.

"It feels really good, especially in this 96-degree weather.," she said. "It felt amazing just to get out of the heat and to be able to enjoy this natural resource."

Christopher, a health care provider who works in Chapel Hill gave us some suggestions for staying safe during days of potentially dangerous heat.

"Just make sure you stay cool. If you start to feel overheated, you definitely want to cool off. So drink water, remove yourself from an extremely hot environment and try to notice the people around you and make sure that they're staying cool, too," she said. "Try to stay inside during the hottest parts of the day. Make sure you're noticing that your children are staying hydrated and cool, going off (to play) with water or staying inside."

ALSO SEE | Hottest day ever recorded in Raleigh brought temperatures of 106 degrees

People with fair skin aren't the only ones who need some protection from the sun. People with more melanin, including indigenous, Asian, and those of Spanish-speaking or African heritages should also consider the use of sunscreen when the sun's blazing. Regardless of race or ethnicity, anyone can get sunburned if they're overexposed to the sun's punishing rays.

Festivalgoers did have another option for cooling off on Saturday. Representatives of a company called Sauna House https://www.saunahouse.com/pages/durham set up a demonstration area for people willing to spend 15 minutes inside an on-site sauna, followed moments later by immersion in an ice bath.

"Oh, that's very cold. That's really cold. I might only have about 30 seconds of me today," said Jack Corelli as he sat in icy water up to his neck. Minutes later he said he's experienced what organizers call ancient bathing practices before Saturday's plunge.

ALSO SEE | Emergency workers urge caution amid dangerous temps, water rescues

"They give you an hour break. It's hot in there. You'll feel it, but you'll feel just soaked and it comes right off. And then when you get in there, it hurts. A little bit, but it feels good," he said. "After about a minute, I feel really good. And then maybe after 98 seconds, my hands start to hurt."

His experience is a reminder to pay attention when your body's reacting to extreme temperatures and recognize the signs that it's time to seek more comfortable shelter or conditions outdoors when possible.