WEATHER

Visitors, residents cope with D.C. area heat wave

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Even tree shade is proving to be no respite from the oppressive heat blanketing the DC-metro area this weekend.

Nicole Johnson, a visitor from Wisconsin, says "I don't think I've been anywhere hotter than this. So that's pretty ridiculous."

With air temps at over 100 degrees, we used a digital thermometer, a "heat gun" to take some readings.

Pointed at sidewalks on the national mall, we got readings of 121 degrees; at a worksite in Arlington, 119 degrees.

"Make sure we got enough water," says contractor Larry Thompson.

"Watch each other, make sure everyone's acting right, that way you know if someone's overcome by the heat."

For 66-year-old Hattie Raspberry, confined to her bed, fans blowing on her 24 hours a day, the heat can be dangerous.

"The equipment in her room is very hot," says Crystal Simms, Raspberry's daughter.

Raspberry has congestive heart failure, and a collapsed lung. She doesn't complain because she can't speak.

Her 24-year-old AC unit, which needs a new compressor, can only get her apartment's temperature down to 83 degrees.

"It's very hot," says Raspberry's grandson - who's watching over her during a vacation break from college.

"At times she has to strip down just to sleep. And she can't even sleep."

Apartment maintenance men have tweaked the family's AC unit twice, but the Raspberrys are hoping for a permanent replacement.

Residents and visitors alike, hoping this heat wave will end soon.

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