SAYRE — If you were looking to do some cooking outside this week, you might only need a sidewalk.
Temperatures are expected to soar to dangerous levels — specifically on Friday and Saturday, when mid- to high-90s are expected which could feel more like over 100 degrees when the heat index is factored into the forecast.
“As of (Tuesday) morning, the National Weather Service in Binghamton had some information stating that the heat index could be around 100 to 110 degrees between Towanda and Elmira,” Sayre Borough Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Daly said. “The combination of moisture and the rising temperatures is really going to make it feel worse.”
Daly noted that it was still fairly early to gauge accurate figures, but regardless, the heat wave will be enough for residents to take caution.
“People should stay hydrated constantly — even if they’re not thirsty,” Greater Valley EMS Chief Derrick Hall said. “They should also avoid direct sunshine during peak hours and wear lightweight clothing.”
Hall also reminded residents that the elderly and children are especially susceptible to heat-related illnesses, and encouraged community members to check on their neighbors and loved ones.
“Just keep an eye on them and check on them just to make sure everything is ok,” he said.
Hall added that pets are also at risk in the extreme heat, and cautioned pet owners against walking their pets on hot sidewalks and asphalt, or leaving them in vehicles.
“If your pet is outside, just make sure it has a shady area and access to fresh, cool water,” he said.
The EMS chief also advised residents to be on the lookout for symptoms of heat-related illnesses, such as cramping, a fast pulse, profuse sweating or if sweating suddenly ceases, dizziness and vomiting.
“Definitely call 911 if you experience any of these symptoms after being in the heat,” Hall said. “We get a fair amount of calls during heat waves, especially when it’s closer to the weekend as people want to be outside. But as long as people realize that, stay cool and watch out for each other, everyone will be better off.”
Daly added that the heat and humidity could also brew up severe thunderstorms, which might result in some localized flash flooding.
“Locally, there could be some very heavy rains in small spots across the region,” he said. “There might be some minor flooding on the streets, but fortunately the rivers are low so we should be safe there.”
SOUTH WAVERLY — Rep. Tina Pickett and the South Waverly Fire Department awarded lifetime membership honors to three volunteers from the department on Tuesday, as well three top responder plaques.
Tim Anderson, Susan McConnell and Patrick Wakefield were recognized as lifetime members. Lifetime members have 25 years or more under their belt for volunteering for the department.
Pickett presented McConnell and Wakefield (Anderson was not present) with citations recognizing their dedication and service to the community and the South Waverly Fire Department.
“The House of Representatives of Pennsylvania is always pleased to celebrate those individuals who selflessly devote themselves to ensuring the safety of our fellow citizens,” Pickett said. “(Wakefield) has made himself available at all hours of the day and night, often at great personal risk and to protect the lives and property of those in his community. He is a sterling example of the most cherished traditions of duty, sacrifice and citizenship.”
Pickett also discussed the importance of volunteers who don’t fight fires but rather help with paperwork, fundraising and other administrative duties, using McConnell as a prime example of the work those volunteers do for the department.
“Demonstrating outstanding loyalty to the noble goals and principals of this company, (McConnell) has generously contributed to the welfare of the organization and its members throughout 25 years plus,” Pickett said.
McConnell and Wakefield were also presented with life member plaques by the fire department.
“The fun part is being able to help other people in the community and making sure everybody is safe. If that’s the least we can do, that’s a plus,” Wakefield said.
Following the lifetime membership, the fire department recognized the top three responders of the department for 2018.
Missy VanNess was recognized with 26 calls; while not present, Brett Beildeman Jr. was recognized with 30 calls; and the top responder, who rides his bicycle to every call and practice, Terrell Chapman was recognized with 37 calls.
Beildeman Jr., Chapman and VanNess also received commemorative top responder plaques in recognition of the calls they went on last year.
ATHENS TOWNSHIP — Athens Township Supervisors on Tuesday hosted a public hearing to give residents an opportunity to go over the new map of the municipality’s floodplain.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently worked with an engineer and revised the map for the township’s floodplain, and it includes a considerable amount of added structures.
Specifically, the new map adds 60 more structures to the already 158 facilities located in the floodplain in the township while also removing three structures from the floodplain.
“In some of the areas I looked at, it looks like (FEMA) is raising the base flood elevation by approximately a foot,” township zoning officer Ed Reid said. “But not all of the structures are homes — some are sheds, garages, pole barns — things like that.”
Reid noted that most of the structures are located in the Desisti Trailer Court off of Thomas Avenue, which is now located in the floodplain.
“We’re in the 90-day appeal process as we speak,” he said. “If anyone wants to appeal, they actually have to supply us with scientific data. They can’t just say ‘I didn’t get flooded so why am I in a flood zone?’ They have to supply scientific data, and then we have to send that off to FEMA, who may dispute it.”
Reid explained that finalized maps could be released by spring of 2020, but, in any case, the township will have look at its floodplain ordinance for possible changes.
Anyone who has specific questions regarding the map or is looking for more information is encouraged to contact Reid at the township building at (570) 888-2325.