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Butler County is finally dry, but the current heat wave presents its own challenges

Reece Jackson, from Morrow, rides his bike on the jump line silhouetted in the sun at Premier Health Atrium Medical Center Bike Park Monday, July 1 in Lebanon. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Reece Jackson, from Morrow, rides his bike on the jump line silhouetted in the sun at Premier Health Atrium Medical Center Bike Park Monday, July 1 in Lebanon. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A heat wave descended on Butler County beginning late last week, setting the area up for busier times for outdoor businesses with the Fourth of July holiday approaching.

Jesse Maag, Storm Center 7 meteorologist for WHIO-TV, said that the county is now in a heat wave as temperatures have topped out at more than 90 degrees since Friday. The temperatures have reached as high as 91 degrees on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Maag said that heat waves are typical in the area during the summer months. The county last reached 90 degrees on Sept. 20 of last year before this current heat wave.

The temperatures have affected local businesses for both the better and the worse.

West Chester Lawn Care has dealt with plenty of warm weather in its 35 years of business, and while it has experienced worse, it is always affected by hot weather.

Gary Magie, president and general manager of West Chester Lawn Care, said that his employees have worked the same amount of hours as they have in more moderate temperatures, but it is tough for them to put in as much work during that time.

“When it gets hot out, your efficiency goes down and we can’t work as hard,” said Magie, who added that equipment can also overheat under these conditions. “The heat always has its toll.”

West Chester’s The Cone has seen its summer crowd only grow due to the heat. Owner Keith Wren believes people are coming in swarms because of the rain received in recent weeks kept some away from the ice cream shop.

“We’ve been so busy, it has kind of amazed me because I expected most people to go to the pool,” Wren said. “But, I guess they’re also coming here.”

The heat wave, which has brought many customers through its drive-thru, intersects with an already busy time for the shop. Wren said that they are preparing their mobile cone concession trailers for the Fourth of July and will be selling ice cream at fireworks shows throughout the area.

In Hamilton, outside events including a biking motorcross race were also busy this weekend. The city’s multiple splash pads remained crowded as well.

“We had a nice return this week,” said Steve Timmer, Hamilton Parks Conservancy director. “All the parks have been packed with the splash pads almost having too many people at times.”

The heat streak is expected to continue today, but temperatures will drop slightly for the rest of the week. Maag said that temperatures will be in the upper 80s until Friday.

According to the Storm Center 7 forecast for Butler County, temperatures will wane to a high of 87 degrees by Friday with lows between 71 and 72 for the week. There is a chance of afternoon showers and thunderstorms each day this week, which Maag says is due to the heat of the Sun.

For those out-and-about this week, Maag stresses the need to be hydrated and to stay in shaded areas if possible. He also recommends preventing extended periods of strenuous outdoor activity.