Heat wave fires up pool visits, ice cream sales

By: Gloria Young, Journal Staff Writer
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Temperatures in the mid-90s Tuesday actually felt like a cooldown after five straight days of 100-plus degree weather in Auburn. Locally, the heat wave topped out Monday at 103 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Sacramento. The oppressive, oven-like stretch sent residents in droves to the nearest swimming hole — the Auburn Recreation District’s Sierra Pool. “Over the weekend, we had to close the pool for (the Auburn Mermaids synchronized) swim meet. It was their final,” head lifeguard Camille Hardy said. “But yesterday and today we’re definitely at full capacity — lots of kids and families.” The pool can handle 250 guests, but fluctuating numbers guaranteed no one was turned away. “We keep track and keep a tally,” Hardy said. “People come and go throughout the day, and we have day camps that come and go.” Although not an icy dip, the 87-degree water offered a pleasant break. “It’s a nice temperature to get in,” she said. “They get in (to cool off), then get out and heat up and come back in again.” The hot weather brought a boost in business for air-conditioning repair companies and a flurry of sales at ice cream shops. “We’re still getting a rush of calls,” said Mike Leonesio, dispatcher with Aire Serv in Applegate. “When it gets hot out, that’s when people go to check their air conditioning and find (the equipment) isn’t working or isn’t cooling.” Most of the calls necessitated repairs, he said. Leonesio recommends changing filters frequently, making sure the refrigerant charge is where it needs to be and doing regular maintenance to extend the life of air conditioners. “We recommend at least twice a year for service,” he said. Business was also brisk at the Baskin Robbins in the Raley’s shopping center. “The heat really made it pick up,” crewmember Jasmine Start said. Cones and sundaes were the big draw, with mint and Oreo topping the list of most-requested flavors, she said. Uncle J’s on Grass Valley Highway in North Auburn saw a boomlet, too. “It fluctuates from day to day,” co-owner Cathy Nesterowicz said. “Over the weekend, when it was over 100, we had (a lot more customers).” Vanilla and lemon custard were particular favorites. “We were selling lots more cups and bowls and a lot more fruit toppings,” Nesterowicz said. Shoppers were buying more than ice cream to keep cool. Cabin Fever Quilt Shoppe employees Kathy Sanchez and Tracey Wright said the Downtown store was particularly busy in the mornings. “People were looking for projects,” Sanchez said. “They said they were going home to stay inside (and wanted something to do).” Residents can expect relatively milder temperatures for the next few days, before the Delta breeze turns off again and the big heat comes back. “Toward the weekend, we’ll be back to triple digits” said Tom Dang, meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “But at this point, doesn’t look like another continued 100-degree stretch.” As hot as it was locally, it was even hotter in some other parts of Northern California. Redding reached 110 degrees at the height of the heat wave, Dang said. The Journal’s Gloria Young can be reached at