Despite forecasts, high temperature falls short of triple digits
JANESVILLE Bring it on.
That was Jeff Stettner's attitude from his perch atop an asphalt paver Thursday morning at the Rock County 4-H Fairgrounds.
"I love it," Stettner said about the heat. "It doesn't really bother me."
Stettner is a working supervisor of a Rock County Public Works Department road crew. He and his team were patching holes in the parking lot on the fairgrounds. It was one of those small chores that needed to get out of the way before they can turn back to grading and repaving County M east of Janesville.
"It was a good day to get it done," Stettner said about the asphalt work at the fairgrounds.
The high temperatures outside don't affect the asphalt, which comes out of the paver at 300 degrees.
"You can't get away from that heat," Stettner said.
Stettner prefers summer work to plowing snow, one of his jobs in the winter.
"I would rather pave than plow," Stettner said. "Plowing itself I don't mind. It's the snow and winter itself I don't like. Paving, it's not a bad job. I love the warm weather."
Stettner said he pushes his crew members to drink water in the heat. He's never had a worker pass out or get sick from the heat on his watch, he said.
"I tell them to drink water," Stettner said. "Don't stand there and not drink anything."
By mid-afternoon, the patching was done, and Stettner was glad to get back to the shop to do some machine maintenance and paperwork. Even better, he was looking forward to getting home to Whitewater where his kids would be waiting in the kiddie pool.
"I'll flop right in there," Stettner said. "Splash around with them a while."
The high for most of the afternoon was 99 degrees in Janesville, according to National Weather Service data. The humidity made it feel like 109 degrees just before 1 p.m., according to weather service data.
The forecast high was 104 degrees.
It wasn't as hot as it might have been, but the heat still felt like a blanket over the parking lot at Rockport Pool on Janesville's west side. The dark locker room seemed like it should be cool, but it was stifling.
The pool deck was hot enough to make kids almost want to listen to the lifeguards and walk—not run.
It was hot enough poolside for T-shirt removal for those dads who remove their shirts in daylight only once a year. Red-faced and white-shouldered, they sat on deck chairs and watched the kids splash.
It was hot enough to deter everyone other than teenagers from hugging or any kind of public displays of affection.
The Donahoue cousins piled out of a minivan for a Frostie Freeze break late Thursday afternoon.
Matthew, 11; Daniel, 13; and Jimmy, 14, were en route from Janesville Leisure Services Sports Camp to Jimmy's baseball game at the Youth Sports Complex.
In the heat, camp had been moved from Bond Park to St. Williams Church, where participants played games inside, the boys said.
"We watched a lot of movies," Matthew said.
Back at Rockport Pool, Adam Marshall declared he spends "really hot" summer days in his basement playing video games in the cold.
Luckily, Thursday afternoon wasn't too hot for Adam. He and his Van Buren Elementary School classmate Adam Marshall spent much of the afternoon submerged in the cool water. They stood on their hands and waved wrinkled toes in the air.
Upside down, the 10-year-olds matched in identical blue printed trunks. When they bounced right-side up, they wore identical blue swim goggles.
The boys, who will be fifth-graders at Van Buren Elementary in the fall, said they prefer summer to winter. Josh insisted that even if a reporter questioned him while he was sledding, he would still prefer summer activities.
"I want to go swimming every day," he said.