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HOW TO BEAT THE HEAT? UTAHNS COUNT THE WAYS

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As a biblical prophecy promised, waters cascading into the Salt Lake Valley have made the desert blossom like a rose.

But as water slowed to a mere trickle in 1994, during one of the hottest summers in Utah's history, the rose almost wilted.Historically, when Utahns faced adverse conditions, they looked to the heavens for help. This year was no different.

Relief came from the sky earlier this week with a smattering of rain. With the precipitation, slightly cooler temperatures drifted into the Beehive State.

During June and July, when temperatures repeatedly boiled past the 100-degree mark, Utahns were forced to find alternatives to fanning each other with palm leaves.

At any rate, Utahns survived. They found a way to beat the heat.

Most relied on air conditioning and swamp coolers. Tabletop fans were an easy alternative - if you could find one.

"We completely sold out of fans," said a manager at the ShopKo in Sugar House. "We had shipments four or five times a week, and in a matter of days they were gone."

He estimated the store sold more than 3,000 fans this summer.

Instead of relying on artificially cooled air, many turned to water parks to cool their heels.

J. Chris Robertson, Raging Waters finance and administration supervisor, said the water slides and wading pools this summer attracted an average of 2,000 people a day.

"We've been doing really well this year," he said. "We really needed it to make up for last year. I think this is God's apology for last summer."

Dance clubs turned into virtual sweat shops during the searing streak of scorching heat. Security officers at The Vortex, a popular haven for Salt Lake teens, doused the dancing mass with water from spray bottles to prevent heat exhaustion.

Ice cream shops also heard the scream for the frosty concoction.

"Usually when it is this hot, people stay in their houses. This year they have really come out," said Dave Rasmussen from Baskin-Robbins. "We've been selling a lot of ice, too. I think people buy that just to cool down."

The triple-digit temperatures in July seemed to last forever, but the heat wave did not break the records for hot weather set in Utah's hottest year ever, 1960, when the mercury soared to 100 degrees or higher on 15 days during July, with nine of those days in a row.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Scorchers

Days high temperature reached 100 degrees or higher.

DATE HIGH LOW

June 25 102 degrees 63 degrees

July 5 100 degrees 61 degrees

July 9 102 degrees 62 degrees

July 10 101 degrees 70 degrees

July 17 101 degrees 67 degrees

July 18 100 degrees 67 degrees

July 21 100 degrees 64 degrees

July 23 100 degrees 70 degrees

July 25 102 degrees 70 degrees

July 26 105 degrees 68 degrees

July 27 105 degrees 73 degrees

July 28 104 degrees 72 degrees

July 29 102 degrees 72 degrees

July 30 102 degrees 74 degrees

Aug. 3 102 degrees 69 degrees

Aug. 4 106 degrees 70 degrees

Aug. 5 105 degrees 74 degrees

Aug. 6 100 degrees 63 degrees

Aug. 7 100 degrees 66 degrees