Dangerous heat leaves New Orleans workers scorched

Extreme heat poses dangers to health

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Regina Gibson shuffled her Tarot cards under a red tent in New Orleans.

"It’s a little bit cooler under the canopy," she said.

She wishes she could have air conditioning in her future. For now, she is just using a fan.

Temperatures on Monday (Aug. 12) felt like they were in the triple digits across most of southeast Louisiana.

If it's in the cards that you work outside, you deal with it.

"It's too hot, we don't get paid enough for this,” one worker carrying boxes said.

Against these harsh conditions – New Orleans is under a heat advisory - you have one weapon: water.

Ochsner Urgent Care Medical Director Dr. Ajsa Nikolic explains the dangers.

"With a high heat index, you can get dehydrated so quickly, once you're in a deficit and you're trying to catch up it's too late. You have to stay ahead of it," Nikolic said.

Nikolic says there has been an uptick in heat-related illnesses at area urgent care clinics.

"Every clinic is different. In the French Quarter we've seen tourists who aren't used to the heat," she said.

Ty Martin was born and raised in New Orleans, but the heat got to him as delivered boxes in the French Quarter.

"It was never this hot. I understand why kids stay inside. I don't know what's going on," he said.

Our FOX 8 news crew did a test, proving if you pour water on the hot concrete in these conditions it evaporates within a couple of minutes. The heat saps the water right out of your body too.

"If your urine is dark, if you have a headache, if your mouth is dry, those are warning signs of dehydration," Nikolic said.

She said the worst case is you can go into shock or heat stroke or have neurological changes if you can’t cool yourself off.

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