The intense heat helps businesses that specialize in keeping people cool.
By PHIL NOVAK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
It's hot. It's sticky. And all anyone wants to do is find a way to cool off.
Sounds like an opportunity for the Pierson kids.
Emma, 9, Matt, 11, and Kris, 13, run an iced tea stand on the corner of U.S. Route 224 and Hillside Road in Canfield.
"We made $20 one day," Emma said. "We usually make about $5 each."
Not bad at 25 cents a cup.
"People usually give us more than it costs," Kris said with a smile.
Emma holds up the sign as cars pass, while Matt and Kris count the money and wait for customers. They chose a good spot. There's plenty of traffic on 224, and construction workers are laying concrete across the street.
Thirsty customer: Dennis Orskin of Niles, hot and sweaty from working in the sun all day, cuts through traffic and drops a quarter on the table.
"It's brutally hot today," he said as he gulps down the iced tea. Then he buys another and gulps that down.
"You can't get as much done. You just got to slow down."
That pretty much sums up the last two weeks in the Mahoning Valley, and finding relief has become a lot of people's top priority.
Indoor work: For those who have jobs indoors with air conditioning, going to work doesn't seem so bad.
"It's pretty nice in here right now," said Doug Boldt, manager of Phar-Mor in Austintown. "It makes work pretty enjoyable. You can tell when you walk in the door how hot it is."
Boldt said sales of fans and sunscreens have increased, and a lot of customers stop in to buy pop or other drinks.
"They seem to shop longer, too, which is good for business."
And the people who have to wait for their prescriptions are much more friendly.
"Nobody's complaining nowadays."
Very busy: Yes, air conditioning is wonderful, but if you manage an air-conditioning company, this is a busy time.
"It's been ridiculous," said Paul Romeo of the residential department at Aerotech Heating and Cooling in Youngstown. "We've been getting a lot of calls for central air, either repairs, replacements or installations. It's hard because we try to service everybody, but when we get into the 90s, air conditioners go into overtime."
Clayton Heating and Air Conditioning in Youngstown has experienced the same thing.
"It's definitely been pretty crazy," said Tim Clayton, one of the family members who own the company. "There's been a lot of breakdown, a lot of failure. All of the stuff is running harder than normal with this weather."
But the intense heat is good for business, and Jim Wylie, the owner of the Dairy Queen on Hubbard Road in Youngstown, can attest to that. "It's been pretty steady the whole time," he said. "Even at night."
Cindy Bassett, of Canfield, said her children like to cool off at Yellow Duck Park, where they can swim in the lake and ride the water slides.
"We've been there several times this year," she said. "We usually go out once or twice a week, simply because it's hot out here, but to tell you the truth, it's hot even for swimming."
People still come out.
Crowded park: "It's been a lot busier than this," said Annie Jackson, a lifeguard at Yellow Duck Park, in Green Township. "On Saturday, the whole entire lake was full and we had to get some extra guards to stand along the lake. That was the busiest I've seen it so far."
But the weather gods (actually the meteorologists) say a break is coming. After two straight days in the lower 90s, temperatures today were to reach only into the lower 80s.
That's not exactly cool, but with the way things have been, it would be sweet relief.