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Heat wave triggers excessive heat warning for parts of Southland

July 11, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Another hot day triggered excessive heat warnings on Wednesday for parts of Southern California, mainly for valley and inland communtiies.

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An excessive heat warning is in effect for the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, and it's expected to last until about 7 p.m. Thursday.

By 7 a.m., Central Park in Santa Clarita was filled with walkers and joggers ready to get their workout in well before the heat hit.

At the nearby community garden, volunteers quickly harvested the fruits and vegetables before Mother Nature ruins them.

"These are summer crops, so they like the heat. But there's heat and then there's excessive heat, so they will suffer some," said Santa Clarita resident Cher Gilmore.

Temperatures are expected to climb into the triple digits for the valleys and desert areas. Excessive heat warnings are also in effect over the Ventura County valleys and mountains and the Los Angeles County mountains as well.

Humidity will be added to the mix, bringing the possibility of thunderstorms. The sticky conditions will also make things appear hotter than what we've seen earlier in the week.

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The heat also plagues residents in the valley and the Inland Empire.

Residents are being advised to stay indoors, go to the pool or a cooling center and drink plenty of water. If you are working outside, be aware of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Medical professionals say the average person should be drinking three 8-ounce glasses of water every hour.

"You've got to be alert and aware to how you're behaving and how you're feeling," said Dr. Mark Morocco, a UCLA ER physician. "So if you feel like you've stopped sweating, if you feel like you're feeling a little odd, meaning your mental status has changed, you're being a little goofy, it's time to get out of the sun."

The summer sizzle led to some extra precautions to safeguard the animals at America's Teaching Zoo in Moorpark.

African blue crane Delilah, Walter the water buffalo and bald eagle Ghost were kept cool in variety of creative ways. Ghost got misted, Delilah was sprayed with a spray bottle and Walter had a self-dunking bucket with a rope attached so he could douse himself at will.

As for the humans in Moorpark, some sought relied with ice cream, but others like Cherie Lipner love the heat.

"I'm one that likes the heat," she said. "Usually you have to wear about 10 layers (of clothes)."

Lipner is an avid tennis player. The heat hasn't stopped her from playing in five decades.

"It's never too hot," she said. "You just get up earlier and earlier before it really gets hot."

For those of us who do mind the heat, cooling center locations have been established throughout L.A. and San Bernardino counties. You can see a list of locations or dial 211 to find a cooling center near you.

The heat is also affecting the air quality, so people with heart disease and respiratory problems are being warned to minimize their outdoor activity.

Rolling black outs are possible throughout the excessive heat warning, so residents are encouraged to conserve energy where they can.

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