Yesterday’s temperature highest ever recorded in city

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 31, 2000

Vicksburg High School freshman football players Lance Henry, left, and Ronnie Newton try to rehydrate and cool off during Wednesday’s practice as temperatures in the city climbed to a record 106 degrees. (The Vicksburg Post/PAT SHANNAHAN)

Vicksburg hit its highest temperature ever officially recorded on Wednesday, some city residents were without electricity this morning and Entergy is asking other customers to cut back on power use.

The thermometer topped out at 106 degrees Wednesday, beating the previous high of 104 degrees recorded on Sept. 6, 1925.

Records date to 1885, meaning Aug. 30 now goes in the books as the hottest day in Vicksburg in at least 115 years.

Today, Entergy’s Cheryl Comans said power outages in the Fairground Street area and one in Openwood Subdivision were not related to Entergy’s request for a voluntary reduction in power.

About 952 residents in the Fairground Street area lost power at 6 a.m. and stayed out about 20 minutes, after a connector failure, Comans said.

In Openwood subdivision, 35 customers were in the dark after an underground line caused problems. Comans said those customers were expected to be back on by 9:15 a.m.

Entergy provides electricity to 2.5 million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and east Texas and urged voluntary conservation beginning today and continuing as long as record highs persist.

In Vicksburg, daily records have been broken 14 times and tied twice throughout July and August.

The average temperature Wednesday in Entergy’s four-state service area was 103, the company said.

More of the same was forecast for today.

In a news release, Entergy said the request for “voluntary conservation is simply a prudent precaution that should provide additional insurance against any problems …”

If it becomes necessary, Entergy said it would curtail service to certain industrial and wholesale customers. However, Entergy expressed the belief that it has adequate supplies of electricity to meet the demand and is purchasing additional reserves wherever possible.

As the smothering heat continued to bear down, construction workers, roofers and others who work outdoors were warned Wednesday by the weather service to avoid toiling during the afternoon. Forecasters also suggested that athletic coaches hold practices indoors or cancel them until temperatures cool.

On Tuesday, authorities said a wheelchair-bound Crystal Springs man died of a heat stroke after his wheelchair got stuck in the sand in front of his house.

Lynn Burse, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson, said five or six days more of hot weather are ahead.

“We have a high pressure system that is blocking the rain from getting to us, so it is going to stay dry and hot,” she said.

A countywide burn ban has been in effect since Aug. 17. About 10 fewer inches of rain have fallen this year than the normal average.