“Humidity and me are not friends.”
A sweat bead ran down Wiscasset Transfer Station Superintendent Ron Lear’s right temple Saturday morning as the station opened for a day the National Weather Service predicted would hit 95F in Lincoln County and feel like 100-plus. He’d already been there an hour.
Lear and the rest of the staff had two strategies to beat the heat: Drinking a lot of the water the town provides them in five-gallon holders; and taking turns on indoor and outdoor tasks. Someone might be on corrugated cardboard inside the station after being outside with the recycling bins, Lear explained. Those interviewed were taking the heat in stride.
“Summer in Maine,” attendant David Flynn shrugged and said. Then he resumed sweeping with a push broom in front of a bin of brush. After work, the Wiscasset man planned to go home and cool off at the pool. He also planned to work on the pontoon boat he’s been “rehabbing” and take it out on the water Sunday, either in Wiscasset or Damariscotta.
By midday Saturday, station staff had made some shade with cardboard and a wooden wardrobe, all discards. “Recycling,” Lear said, smiling under the cardboard.
At Ames True Value Supply in the end of the store where staff bring out animal feed and set out shavings, it was a two-fan day – four-foot fans, that is. Those help a lot, employee Dylan Jones said.
Usually, there’s one, but on hotter days like Saturday, two are used, Ames co-owner Jeff Averill said. He wasn’t sure yet how or if the heat would help determine the busiest time that day. People might shop early or wait until it’s hotter and cool off in the store’s air conditioning, he said. “You never know.”
Employee Ronnie Cromwell likes both water and Gatorade on a day that hot. “And when I get a second I like to sneak inside to the air conditioning.”
Red’s Eats co-owner Deb Gagnon said the heat always worries her, “for the staff and our guests.”