‘Scorching’: Heat doesn’t stop paving crew

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Thursday’s rain provided a little relief for Brian Masayesva and his fellow crew members as they paved a parking lot in downtown Kalamazoo.

“The blacktop comes off very hot. It’s scorching! Like steam coming off whenever the rain hits,” Masayesva described.

If the heat gets to you walking from your car to the office, just think of those workers whose office is the great outdoors.

Come Friday, the rain will be gone, replaced by the sun and temperatures close to 100.

The fresh asphalt radiates even more heat — at least a couple hundred degrees.

“If that stuff gets on your skin, it will definitely burn you,” said Masayesva, who added that he has one of the hottest jobs on the crew. “Shoveling and raking. We get all that fine asphalt right on the pavement, make sure it’s nice and flat. But that stuff gets hot.”

And the worst is yet to come.

“Tomorrow is going to be a real killer,” Masayesva said, referring to temperatures in the 90s and heat indexes pushed to the 100-degree mark forecasted for Friday and Saturday.

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety has partnered with First Congregational Church at 345 West Michigan Ave. to provide a cooling center. It’s open until 8 p.m. Thursday and will reopen from noon to 8 p.m. Friday. The Douglass Community Center at 1000 W. Patterson St. will also open as a cooling center Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

>>Inside woodtv.com: Cooling centers around W. MI

If you experience a heat-related emergency, call 911. If it’s not an emergency but you still need help, call Central Dispatch at 269.488.8911.

KDPS also reminded people to wear light clothing, drink plenty of water and limit outdoor activities.

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