The weather is cooler, but we are learning more about the deadly toll the heat wave has taken.
On Friday, Elkhart police found 84-year-old Kathleen Hyre and 45-year-old Michael Bowen both dead in their respective homes.
These cases highlight the need for neighbors to keep an eye on each other when temperatures go into the triple digits.
“This year the heat has probably affected me more than it ever has affected me,” said Alfred Lee, who lives by the Lusher Avenue home where the body of his neighbor, Kathleen Hyre, was found.
At the time, her core body temperature was 104 degrees.
“When we saw the police and the coroner over to her house…I said, ‘Well, maybe the heat got to her,’” said Lee.
About 24 hours later, the body of Michael Bowen was discovered at his McPherson Street home. His core body temperature was 102.5 degrees.
Mayor Dick Moore says with triple digits temperatures it’s important to find out how your neighbors are doing…to hopefully prevent situations like this.
“When we get into a heated situation like we have had the last four days, it’s very, very important to know how our neighbors are,” said Moore.
He points out the two recent incidents re-affirm and reinforce the need, especially during very hot weather, to check in on relatives, neighbors and friends who could be adversely affected by the heat.
“You need to be a good samaritan, you need to check on that neighbor that you might think might not have anybody else,” Moore said. “So it is extremely important that we look after our relatives, we look after each other, we certainly look after our senior citizens.”
He adds recently two cooling centers have been in operation in Elkhart, including one at the New York Central Railroad Museum. Volunteering to take your neighbors there is another way to help out.
Two Marion County men also died in the heat yesterday – A 92-year-old and a 54-year-old.
We wanted to find out more about hyperthermia, which is the body's response to extreme heat. It's essentially the opposite of "hypothermia," which is the body's reaction to cold.
“It's the body's inability to release heat, lose ability to sweat,” said Lt. Cary Dygert. “The body can't cool as fast as heating up internally.
Other symptoms include becoming flushed and red. And some medications can make people more at risk for hyperthermia.