Road crews feeling the heat

By Kelly McCarthy

July 19, 2013 Updated Jul 20, 2013 at 12:34 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) The Twin Tiers continues to deal with hot temperatures this week, with Friday expected to be one of the warmest days of the year.

Construction workers had to endure a heat index close to 100 degrees Friday. Temperatures reached the lower 90s, but it felt more like 95 to 100 outside.

"This is probably the hottest, this whole week actually," said John Keeler, of the Binghamton Street Department.

Workers with the NYS Department of Transportation spent Friday filling in potholes along Route 8 in Deposit. They like to start around 6 a.m. to avoid the hottest parts of the day.

"We've had to take people to the hospital because of it," said Steve Dufton, DOT highway maintenance supervisor. "We've had to call ambulances because of it, and you know you just do everything you can to just make that not happen."

Even in high temperatures there's work to be done. It just might feel like each task takes a little longer.

"The heat generally takes a little more out of you then it does in the spring time," said highway maintenance worker Brad Esolen. "I tend to go home and do a little less."

Workers have been using an extra person on the road with them this week to provide more breaks to the flaggers, and transport them instead of making them walk. Whenever temperatures get up in the 90s, the DOT holds heat safety meetings for the crews.

"They'll do a tailgate safety meeting Monday morning talking about heat," Esolen said, "Making sure we stay hydrated, signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion, heat stroke and we watch each other."

While construction crews work through the heat, NYSEG crews have not had to respond to anything out of the ordinary this week because of extreme power use.

NYSEG said the heat is putting a strain on their supply, but there have been no significant power outages or emergencies.

The heat and humidity are expected to break Saturday.