The mercury hit 105 in Rome on Friday, according to the National Weather Service, tying a record for June 29 set in 1931. It was 109 in Athens today.
More records could fall today and Sunday. The NWS is expecting today’s high in Rome to hit 106, but “cooling” off to 103 on Sunday.
At the interactive fountain at the Town Green, children splashed and played, but the moment the droplets hit the pavement, they would sizzle into vapor.
Fanning herself as she watched her grandchildren run through the fountain, Beth Rose of Rome said she also tries to stay inside during the day, but her granddaughter, Alexis Velazquez, just turned 7 and their family celebrated her birthday at the Town Green.
“We’ve been playing in that fountain, my grandbaby had her party up here today,” she said.
Otherwise, she tries to stay inside in cooler air as much as possible, she said.
“My husband is a roofer, and he asked me the other day, ‘How do you think you’d like some fried Terry?’” she said, chuckling.
“He said on the roof it was 132 degrees.”
But Tracy Slack Hellriegel, who was with her grandchildren at the fountain, said al-
though she does try to stay cool and stay inside, she really prefers the warmth of summer.
“Oh this is my favorite time of year,” she said. “I love hot weather. It’s low humidity and as long as I’m in the cool shade with a cool drink in my hand, it’s tolerable to me.”
Nearby, Steve and Nikki Burgess of Calhoun were rocking back and forth on a bench swing with their 7-year-old daughter Shea.
“We try to keep our daughter out of the sun as much as possible because she’s easy to burn,” said Steve Burgess.
The Burgess family hits the Town Green quite a bit, he said, since they first found out about it last year.
“We come here just about every day. It’s the third time this week matter of fact,” he said. “We live in Calhoun, and we don’t have nothing like this there. We discovered this place last year and we’ve been coming ever since.”
Burgess said the Town Green water fountain is the perfect place to cool off in this nearly unbearable heat.
“We come down here to play in the water fountain to try to stay cool,” he said. “I’ve never seen it this hot, it’s been a very long time since it’s been this hot.”
He said it’s usually late July or August before temperatures skyrocket into the mid 100s.
Just around the corner, Brianna Brown of Rome was flipping through books outside Paradise Lost Books on the 400 block of Broad Street. She planned to take her goddaughter out to play in the fountain, but on Friday she walked on the sidewalk of Broad, hugging the shady areas near the edges of buildings.
“Currently, being outside, I’m wearing a dress that’s really breathable,” she said.
Usually, she’ll try to be in the line of wherever the cool air blows.
“Normally I try to stay inside or near a pool or near an air conditioner,” Brown said. “I have a little fan that sits in front of the air conditioner to blow out even more.”
Brown said she’s taking precautions to stay safe and healthy until the heat wave passes. “I drink a lot of water,” she said. “Me and a friend of mine have been trying to stay healthy and we usually go around at night when it’s cooler and run. By the time it reaches August, it’s going to be miserable.”