Charleston too hot for horses amid heat wave, earliest 100-degree days on record – Charleston Post Courier

Charleston too hot for horses amid heat wave, earliest 100-degree days on record - Charleston Post Courier

Charleston carriage horses taken off streets due to heat for third day in a row

A carriage horse takes a break to drink water and cool off after taking a tour group around Charleston in June 2018. File/Staff 

Children play in the fountain at Waterfront Park as temperatures reach record-setting highs on Sunday, May 26, 2019. Lauren Petracca/Staff

A carriage horse takes a break to drink water and cool off after taking a tour group around Charleston in June 2018. File/Staff 

You know its really hot in Charleston when carriage horses are ordered off the streets, and that happened for the third day in a row Tuesday as a record-breaking southern heat wave continued.

In 2018, the horses and mules that pull tourist carriages around Charleston were ordered to stop operations only once, for less than an hour. It takes four consecutive temperature readings of 95 degrees or more to halt the tours.

“I have not seen a spike like it did today from 94 (degrees) to 97 a few minutes later,” said Dan Riccio, who enforces the rules as director of Charlestons Department of Livability and Tourism.

Thermometers hit triple digits at the Charleston and Savannah airports for three consecutive days — something that hasnt happened since 2011. Another 100-degree day at the Charleston airport would break a 1986 record, and its not yet June.

“DO NOT leave children or pets unattended in a hot vehicle,” the weather service said in an advisory. “Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside.”

North Charleston has opened four cooling shelters which will be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through Friday. They are:

Theres little relief expected until the end of the week. Triple-digit temperatures are forecast in central South Carolina again Wednesday, with daytime highs just under 100 degrees along the coast and in the Upstate. 

Carl Fehr, a division chief for Charleston County Emergency Management, said there were 40 EMS responses at Folly Beach, Isle of Palms and Sullivans Island beaches over the holiday weekend.

Two out of the 40 responses were coded as being heat-related. Others were related to things like fainting and lightheadedness, so there is a possibility they were also heat-related, he said.

Children play in the fountain at Waterfront Park as temperatures reach record-setting highs on Sunday, May 26, 2019. Lauren Petracca/Staff

“Record to near-record temperatures will continue across the area through Thursday,” the National Weather Services advised. Heat indexes could approach 105 degrees, according to the advisory.

Sunday was the earliest date on record for a 100-degree day in Charleston. The previous record was June 2, 1985, so Monday and Tuesday became the second and third earliest 100-degree days on record in Charleston. 

The regional extreme weather comes against a backdrop of record-setting global temperature. The last four years, 2015 to 2018, have been the hottest years on record worldwide, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

David Slade is a senior Post and Courier reporter. His work has been honored nationally by Society of Professional Journalists, American Society of Newspaper Editors, Scripps foundation and others. Reach him at 843-937-5552 or [email protected]

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – High temperature readings prompted Charleston officials to order carriage horses off the streets Tuesday for the third day in a row.

Officials said the horses were removed around 1:06 p.m. after temperature readings had risen from 94 to 98 degrees over the course of 18 minutes.

This kind of temperature spike is a serious and potentially dangerous matter,” city of Charleston Director of Livability and Tourism Dan Riccio said. “We will continue to monitor temperatures throughout the day and only allow tours to resume when appropriate.

On Monday, horses were pulled at 2:40 p.m. City spokesman Jack OToole said the heat led to the horses being ordered off the streets on Sunday as well.

Regulations require horses to be pulled from duty after four consecutive temperature readings indicating 95 degrees.

At 12:14 p.m., the high temperature at the Charleston Air Force Base was 97 degrees. This ties the old record set on the date in 1967 and 1964.

EDITORS NOTE: An earlier version of this story stated it was the second day in a row the horses were ordered back to their barns. City officials later confirmed that Tuesday marked the third consecutive day high temperatures forced the suspension of carriage tours.


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