UPDATED: With a heat advisory in effect from noon on Tuesday until 8PM this Friday, area residents are encouraged to stay well hydrated with water and if possible, remain indoors. Rutherford County is expected to see heat index readings peaking at 107-degrees each afternoon. According to the National Weather Service, high humidity mixed with high temperatures can cause heat related illnesses to occur.
The heat has led to multiple changes in local sports schedules at area schools in Rutherford County. One example includes last nights (Monday) game for freshman players from LaVergne and Siegel High Schools. Coaches had to move the Monday night game back to a later start time, in hopes of slightly cooler weather and keeping players safe (Siegel 27 to 0 LaVergne).
To be extra cautious this week because of heat index values, the Rutherford County Schools have implemented additional precautions and restrictions to keep students safe.
- Outside activities (recess, outdoor classroom use, etc) will be completed by 12 noon. Even before this time, we will use caution and limit outside time for students.
- TSSAA heat index: Ensure compliance with ALL TSSAA heat index policies and procedures. There is no room for modifications or adjustments to these policies. This also applies to marching band and other outdoor activities.
As the week progresses, it is going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for outside practices to take place during the afternoon hours and early evening hours. To be proactive, no competitions or outdoor practices can occur before 7 p.m. now through Thursday. Even after 7 p.m., TSSAA heat policies and procedures will be followed, according to the county school board office. This of course may lead to game time changes.
County Schools Communications Director James Evans told WGNS the school board office will provide further guidance about games scheduled for this Friday by Thursday morning.
The TSSAA's heat policy prohibits competitions from taking place when the heat index is above 104-degrees, unless the school has both an athletic trainer at the specific competition AND access to a cold water immersion tub (or other rapid on-site cooling method). The athletic association also requires that all windows on school buses without air conditioning be kept down and students must be permitted to have their water bottles with them on the bus.
The schools will continue monitoring the forecast and keep parents informed of any changes that have to be made.
Check on Loved Ones and the Elderly - During times of extremely hot weather, it is important check-in on loved ones, medically fragile friends, single parents struggling to keep the electricity turned on and the elderly.
Longtime Cool-Aid organizer Dwight Ogleton told WGNS that he and others are collecting fans and window unit air conditioners to give to those that lack an A/C… Call 615-487-9670 to donate a fan or air conditioner or to volunteer. You can also call 615-487-9670 if you need help staying cool during the hot days and evenings ahead.
ABOUT: Ogleton started the Cool-Aid program for the elderly over 30-years ago to simply bring awareness of problems associated with heat distress. He told us in the past that some residents in Rutherford County lack an air conditioner or even a fan to cool down their home. Lacking a way to keep cool when the heat index rises to 100-degrees or more is dangerous, especially for those who are medically fragile.
For Those who are in Need of a Fan or AC: If your home lacks an air-conditioner or fan and you fit the demographic of those the program helps, call 615-487-9670.
Can You Help? If you can help by donating a new fan or window unit air conditioner, or if you can help by distributing fans or A/C units, call Ogleton to find out how you can volunteer, 615-487-9670.