The heat index didn't get up to the 115 degrees forecasters predicted, but Wednesday was still a very hot July day in South Mississippi. In most towns, the range was between 100 and 110 degrees. Still it was hot enough for the National Weather Service to issue an advisory.
With all the nailing, hammering, and drilling, construction workers say it's easy to get so caught up in work that they don't realize they're overheated.
"When you stop and think about it, you're hotter than you know, so you do have to run for cover from time to time," Rodney Porter said.
It's so hot that this week crews building the boardwalk in Harrison County switched from working four long days to five shorter days.
Foreman Wayne Ladner said there was little choice in the decision.
"Everybody was near about passing out. About every 30 minutes, they've got to take a five or ten minute break and drink a lot of water."
Once a person is overcome by the heat, he or she ends up in the emergency room. Doctors say the best defense against heat exhaustion and heat stroke is to use good judgment.
"Get inside where it's air conditioned," emergency room physician Dr. Thomas Graves said. "If you don't have to go outside and do something, don't do it. Put it off until it's cooler. Even better in the morning, before the heat begins to build up in the day."
For Rodney Porter and his co-workers, staying in the air conditioning is not an option. Still, they're doing what they can to stay cool.
"It gets kind of hot out here. Wearing hats like this help out. It's extremely hot and Tommy Richards is definitely right on the money about this heat."
Doctors say there are some warning signs that you may be suffering from a heat related illness. They include cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, dizziness. If you experience any of these problems, you may need medical treatment.