Decatur - The mercury hit the 100 degree mark in Decatur and Central Illinois once again. Air conditioners work overtime as outdoor workers struggle through another day under the sun.
Water restrictions began today in Decatur & Mt. Zion as the cities main water source, Lake Decatur, continues to dry up. No car washing, limited lawn watering, water at restaurants by request only. Even the Central Park water fountain, next to the iconic Transfer House, has been shut off during this year long drought.
J.C. Fultz in the WAND TV Storm Center says we have had eleven 100 degree days in Decatur in 2012. Nine of those days have been in the month of July. That's not close to the record. In 1936 Decatur recorded 26 days of 100 degrees.
High temperatures Wednesday hit the 100 mark throughout Central Illinois. The temperature at WAND recorded for Decatur was 103. The Decatur airport recorded 104. The record of 104 in Decatur was set on August 18, 1988, the last big drought year. Champaign hit 100. Springfield tied a record for this date set in 1936 at 103. Effingham & Taylorville both reported temperatures of 104.
Outdoor workers continue to do their jobs despite the heat. At a dusty Meridian High School, where a new building is being erected, construction workers dealt with heat and blowing dirt. "It's about like being in the desert," one worker said.
Total rainfall in Decatur for the month of July has been .14 of an inch. Normally, rainfall for the first 25 days of July stands at 2.94 inches.