May 30, 2018

Temperatures soared to 100 degrees over the Memorial Day weekend in Carroll and were likely the hottest recorded in the past century for those dates, according to the National Weather Service.

“That’s safe to say, considering how we crushed records across the state,” said Rod Donavon, a meteorologist for the weather service. “That was probably record heat those days.”

The weather service tracks records for some of Iowa’s largest cities but doesn’t for Carroll. Some of the previous records in those cities were eclipsed by 8 degrees over the weekend, Donavon said.

Temperatures in Carroll reached 97 degrees on Saturday, 100 on Sunday and 99 on Monday, according to weather service data. The hottest day of the weekend last year was 81 degrees.

“It was definitely one of the hottest Memorial Days I can remember,” said Jason Christensen, the Carroll County Conservation director, who oversees campsite rentals for the county’s parks. “It was also one of the busiest ones that I can remember.”

The recreational-vehicle campground at Swan Lake State Park had no vacancies this past weekend, he said. People stayed cool with air conditioning in those vehicles and big fans outside.

“There were not as many campfires this year,” Christensen laughed.

The heat strained the air-conditioning systems of Carroll residents, causing some to fail.

“Our service technician was pretty busy all weekend,” said Sara Drees, vice president of Drees Co. “For the first hot weather we get quite a few calls. This was unusually warm, and it was pretty early in the season.”

Despite the heat and all the outdoor activities associated with Memorial Day, there was not a rash of calls for help for people who had overheated, said Darrell Baker, director of the Carroll County Ambulance Service.

Perhaps people followed Baker’s general advice for surviving record-setting heat: “Drink plenty of water. Don’t overexert yourself.”