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Water park offers chance to stay cool as temperature soars

Angie Marsh LaPorte George AbbruscaValparaiso burst out tunnel inrefreshing water Deep River Waterpark Merrillville Ind. Friday July 6 2012.

Angie Marsh of LaPorte and George Abbruscato of Valparaiso burst out of a tunnel into refreshing water at Deep River Waterpark in Merrillville, Ind. Friday July 6, 2012. Another day with oppressive heat and temperatures forecast for over 100 degrees, led many people in Northwest Indiana to seek relief. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: July 6, 2012 8:39PM



People didn’t let the extreme heat stop them from going to Deep River Water Park Friday, but many of them were taking precautions to stay cool.

The park saw above-average attendance during the day, Operations Manager Sasha Mateer said, but overall attendance has tapered off a bit as the weather continued to get hotter.

“People do take the advice to stay inside,” she said.

Not everyone, though. Gary resident Rose Hanta said she decided to come to the water park because of the heat.

“We’re going to stay in the pool,” she said of her plan of the day.

Debbie Wiersbe, of Hebron, said she, her husband and grandchildren had spent the day at the park. She stayed cool by sitting in the shade and taking periodic breaks in the water. Like many other people, she had brought a cooler full of water to stay hydrated.

Wiersbe said she was enjoying her first trip to the park, even though it was hot.

“It’s a treat for us to be together,” she said.

Kati Teniente, of Chicago Heights, Ill., said she was putting on sunscreen just about every half hour. She and her friends tried to avoid some places in the park that seemed hotter than others, but otherwise tried to stay in the water, Teniente said.

People even tried to keep their cars cool, parking in grassy areas under trees instead of in the parking spaces.

The heat is expected to continue Saturday, with temperatures reaching 99 degrees and the heat index reaching 108, according to the National Weather Service. An excessive heat warning is in effect until 4 p.m. Saturday. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management said some people need to stay indoors as it is extending an elevated ozone forecast through the day for Northwest Indiana. People who are susceptible to poor air quality, such as the elderly and anyone with a heart or lung condition, should try to stay inside. Everyone is encouraged to drive as a little as possible, to not idle their vehicles and to not use gasoline-powered lawn mowers before 7 p.m.



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