Like the rest of the state and much of the south on Thursday, Pine Bluff residents sweltered. And there is little relief in sight. Regina Conway, who pumped gas at a station on Olive Street late in the afternoon as the sun beat down on her face, said she was planning to go home and take a cold shower.
“That’s about all I can do to stay cool,” she said. “I do not have air in my home.”
Although Conway isn’t a senior citizen, for those who are, some relief is available through a fan drive that’s ongoing at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department. Any senior 60 or older in need of a fan can contact the department’s Uniformed Patrol Division at 870-541-5376. A fan will then be delivered, sheriff’s office Major Lafayette Woods Jr. said. Those who wish to donate fans or window unit air conditioners may take them to 109 S. Main St. between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“Your support of our Summer Fan Drive will do more than give someone relief from the heat. For our seniors, it could save their lives,” Woods said.
Last year through the “It’s Cool to Give” Campaign, the sheriff’s office delivered nearly 70 fans to seniors in Jefferson County. Fans are also available at the Area Agency on Aging of Southeast Arkansas, though there is an application process.
For applicants to receive a fan, the person must be disabled or 55 years old or older. To apply, contact Area Agency. The applicant’s name will be placed on a list waiting list. Applicants will be notified by a case manager or the coordinator on the date and time the fan may be picked up. Those who received fans last year may not be eligible to receive a fan this year. Distribution of the fans will depend on the number of fans received. Applicants will be asked to present an ID and an award letter from the Social Security office or Department of Human Services.
Details: Carolyn Ferguson at Area Agency, 870-543-6300 or 1-800-264-3260.
All Arkansas counties are now under heat advisories as hot and humid conditions stay put in the state. The National Weather Service says high temperatures will reach the upper 90s in some areas Thursday with heat index values of about 105 degrees. The heat advisories are in effect Thursday and Friday. Forecasters say an upper-level ridge of high pressure will weaken this weekend, and some areas could see showers and thunderstorms on Saturday. Temperatures could dip a bit but will remain hot.
Forecasters say the hottest temperatures this week are to the north of Arkansas, with excessive heat warnings in effect in parts of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. In those states, the heat index value could reach 110 degrees.