MUNSTER — For Gus, escaping the heat can be tricky — especially because he's covered head to toe in thick, woolly hair.

However, in the above-90s temps Wednesday afternoon, the black golden doodle found solace splashing in a kiddie pool at Centennial Park's Dog Park.

Jaimee Young, of Munster, brings Gus to the dog park every day to enjoy some relief from the heat, where he sits in the pool and runs through a water stream from a nearby hose. Because the family doesn't have a yard, the park offers the option for Gus to enjoy some exercise without health concerns coming into play.

“It's easy for him to overheat,” Young said. “Without water, he would get too hot, fast. Here we know he can run free and play safely.”

Others dipped their toes into the pond and enjoyed some fishing while a troop of 20 people walked through the park despite the heat. They were a group of avid Pokemon Go players with their phones out, catching and battling Pokemon characters.

Hector Jacques, who came out with his son, said the group is full of dedicated players and meets every Wednesday.

“We've been out here in below-zero weather,” he said.

However, others were out under the blazing sun for work and not play.

Despite the threat of triple-digit temperatures, Danny Bridges isn't fazed. He knows he has a job to do.

Bridges, 27, of Cedar Lake, works as a locator for Stake Center Locating, finding fiber-optic cables underground before construction is done. His latest project puts him at 45th Street in Munster, just off Calumet Avenue under the sweltering summer sun. 

As sweat pools at his temples, Bridges "keeps at it" in his long-sleeve blue shirt and khaki pants, with a bright green and orange reflective vest slugged over his shoulders providing an additional layer. But it's the best way he knows to avoid a sunburn. 

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"It's hot," Bridges said. "(But) I'm used to it. ... It doesn't matter the condition, we work all year round. It's good money, good overtime, so it's worth it."

Bridges has worked for the company the past three years, making him well versed in summer safety. When he can, Bridges takes breaks and cools off in a work vehicle, putting the air conditioning on full blast.

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He said the key is to stay hydrated — something officials with the National Weather Service also have advocated for with the looming heat wave.

The high temperatures across the Region have prompted the NWS to issue an excessive heat warning, starting Thursday afternoon until Saturday evening.

NWS officials said hot weather and high humidity can make for a potentially dangerous combination, especially for the elderly, children, pets and those with pre-existing heath conditions. 

"Have a cool place to shelter from the heat. Avoid outdoor activity, especially strenuous ones, during the peak heating times of the day," officials said. "Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors."

The three-day warning also will extend to parts of Illinois, NWS officials said. 

Map: Local Cooling Centers

Here's a look at local cooling centers

Communities in the Region may be offering cooling centers due to the hot temperatures. These locations have been used in the past as warming and cooling centers, but be sure to call ahead to verify hours. Are we missing a location? Is a listed location no longer valid? Email our editors at newstips@nwi.com.

Click here for a look at our list of local pools and splash pads.


Location: 605 Washington St., LaPorte


Location: 513 W. Chicago Ave, East Chicago

Address: 1202 Cumberland Crossing, Valparaiso, Ind. 46383

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Morning Cops/Breaking News Reporter

Olivia is the morning cops/breaking news reporter at The Times. She spends her time monitoring traffic and weather reports, scanning crime logs and reading court documents. The Idaho native and University of Idaho grad has been with The Times since 2019.