At the spillway of Rae’s Creek near the Augusta Canal, known as Aqueduct Park, Jack, 13, climbed the rocks and waded in the water with his sister, Liberty King, 9, and friend William Airey, 6.
“The water’s ice cold. It’s a nice place to get cooled off,” he said.
Thursday’s high was 95 degrees, with the heat index topping off at 100 degrees, the second consecutive scorcher, signaling the start of Augusta’s hottest season.
Crowds gathered at Aqueduct Park to lie in the sun and dive off rocks into the water.
“I love it. I’m going back in,” said Keith Smith, 35.
A cold front was expected to move through the area Thursday night, meaning some relief. High temperatures in the low 90s are forecast for the weekend.
On Wednesday, the high was 96 at Augusta Regional Airport, 5 degrees above the normal temperature and 4 shy of the 100-degree record set in 2010.
With more hot weather ahead – summer officially begins June 21 – Richmond County Emergency Management Specialist Sharon Bennett warned residents to take shelter and monitor activity.
“Wear light clothing, stay out of the direct sun, and stay hydrated,” Bennett said.
People should check on the elderly and children, who are more prone to heat-related illnesses, she said. Outdoor workers need to take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water.
It’s also important to remember animals that are exposed to the heat.
“Certainly, don’t leave (pets) in vehicles,” she said.