63ºF

Central Florida heat causes record demand for power

Kissimmee Utilities Authority sees highest demand in 115-year history

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The heat outside is leading to a record demand in power.

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The Kissimmee Utility Authority said that its customers used 366 megawatts of power on Tuesday, the highest demand in the company's 115-year history.

KUA said consumers should keep their thermostats at 78 to 80 degrees and use fans to try to keep their monthly bills as low as possible.

The American Red Cross issued reminders on Wednesday because of the extreme heat in Central Florida.

"Excessive heat can be deadly; it has caused more deaths in recent years than all other weather events," said Linda Jorge Carbone, chief executive officer for the Central Florida region. "We want everyone to stay safe during the hot weather and have some reminders for them to follow when the weather is hot and humid."

Never leave children or pets in the car. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees.

Other heat safety steps include:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.
  • If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should choose places to go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).

In addition, excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

If someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get them to a cooler place, have them rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle, and replenish their fluids with a half a glass (about 4 ounces) of cool water every 15 minutes. 

If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion (cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness exhaustion), move them to a cooler place, remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If they are conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 911 or the local emergency number.

The Red Cross also reminded that heat stroke is life-threatening. Signs include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting and high body temperature. Call 911 or the local emergency number immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.

Watch News 6 for more on this story.