Local News

Jul 22, 2014 5:57 PM by Janine Reyes

City Crews Working Hot Jobs Keep Cool in South Texas Heat

CORPUS CHRISTI -- Summer in South Texas can be summed up in one word: hot!

But, few people have a tougher time in this heat than some city workers 6 News tagged along with Tuesday.

Crews repaving our streets probably have one of the hottest jobs in the city - literally. It's a job that never stops.

"When the heat really peaks, around 3 o'clock, that's when it's really bad," Foreman Greg Gonzalez told us. He's a senior foreman with 30 years experience working in South Texas heat.

"There's been some cases where some people get heat exhaustion," Gonzalez explained. On a few occasions, he had to send crew members to the hospital. Symptoms are when someone stops sweating, starts shaking and feels the chills.

But, his main strategy is prevention. That starts with hydration. The city provides the workers with unlimited water and Gatorade. "We try not to encourage for them to drink it too much, water's the best thing for them to drink," said Gonzalez.

They also give them handkerchiefs soaked in cold water and members of the crew put them on the back of their necks to block the sun. "You wet it down and it stays cool, it'll help you get through the day," Gonzalez explained.

But, its not just the heat from above that the street crews have to deal with, the asphalt that they're laying is a couple hundred degrees. When they pick up the asphalt, it's registers at about 300 degrees, the heat of the sun it's exposed to keeps it hot.

"The street's already hot from the heat and then once we start laying that out, the heat's coming up from the street and the heat from up above, its really hot," Gonzalez told us.

As foreman, Gonzalez must make sure each job is done right, but, he tells us his number one priority is keeping the crew safe in the heat.

That's why they do alternate jobs, and also just take it slow. "We tell them 'no, take it slow,' because the heat will kill you, you know," Gonzalez said.

He tells us July and August are the hottest months.


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