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PHOTO GALLERY: Mid-Missouri feels the heat

Tuesday, August 3, 2010 | 6:31 p.m. CDT
Rosie Robinson, Nathan Smith, Joe Holloway, and Will Roberts of the Hickman Drum Line practice in the shade outside Hickman High School on Tuesday. Holloway said the drum line is having daily practice from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the next two weeks to prepare for the upcoming school year. "We're doing as much as possible in this hellish heat," he said.

COLUMBIA — It was a scorcher in Columbia on Tuesday, with the temperature reaching 95 degrees at 5 p.m. and a heat index of 107 degrees.

A heat wave is blanketing the Midwest and has been blamed in two deaths across the region, according to the Associated Press.

Temperatures reached 107 degrees in Little Rock, Ark., a new record for the capital. Not far behind were Tuesday readings of 101 degrees in Oklahoma City; 102 degrees in St. Louis; and 106 degrees in Wichita, Kan.

On Monday, the 108-degree reading in Wichita broke the city's old record of 106 degrees, set in 1970.

"With the heat expected to continue this week, residents need to check on neighbors, friends and relatives as heat-related illnesses and deaths can be prevented," said Rex Archer, Kansas City's health department director.

People who don't have air conditioning were urged to try to get somewhere that does, or at least keep their homes well ventilated with fans. Those who work outside were urged to be extra careful.

The National Weather Service in St. Louis issued a heat advisory for the Columbia area that lasts until Wednesday, when the high temperature is expected to be in the upper 90s, with a heat index between 105 and 110 degrees.

The service recommends drinking plenty of water and staying out of the heat, if at all possible. The service also advises to avoid caffeine and alcohol.

A bearded dragon enjoys the sun at the Columbia Pet Center on Tuesday. Josh Hendren, who works at the store, said the lizard hails from Australia's outback and is no stranger to temperature extremes. "There, it's as hot as can be during the day, and as cold as can be during the night," he said.
Beth Kiburz lifts a bearded dragon at Columbia Pet Center on Tuesday. Kiburz said she enjoys reptiles like the four-year-old dragon because they have a lot of personality.
A rescued red-eared slider turtle warms up on a rock at the Columbia Pet Center on Tuesday. Beth Kiburz, an employee at CPC, said the turtles are native to Missouri. "The heat's part of their digestive process," Kiburz said. "But when it's this hot they'll get back in the water to cool off."
A motorcycle sits in the shade across from the historic J.W. "Blind" Boone home at Fourth Street and Broadway on Tuesday.

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