July 18, 2012 - It's been so hot this week that even the bats are, well—going batty.
Rylee Sobecki grabs a few bags of ice to help cool off. Photo by Patrick McAbee. (click for larger version)
"In July the native Big Brown Bats are forming maternity colonies—lots of baby bats are becoming more active or even feeling uncomfortable do to the excessive heat," said Dave Kugler, of Ortonville Critter Catchers, Inc. "Its been over 100 degrees and the bats are roaming while other animals, including us are slowing down."
Kugler said most of his calls in the recent hot spell are about bats.
"They do present a risk to humans since they can carry rabies," he said. "But, bats also eat a lot of insects and can be quite helpful."
The local bats have good reason to feel a little edgy
"The mercury topped 100 degrees in Pontiac and Detroit on Tuesday," said Debra Elliot, observation program group leader with the National Weather Service in White Lake Township. And tied a record of 101 degrees that was set in 1931 at Bishop Airport."
"We could use a little rain right about now too. Precipitation for the area since the first of the year is down only about 2 inches. We should be at 17 inches and so far we've had about 15 inches. Since June we're down about 2 inches of rain—the issue about the dry conditions is that much of the precipitation came in the winter and spring not in the summer. The deficit is more impacted with the high temperatures in the 90s and 100s. Many of the showers could miss locations too—it's not going to be a wide spread."
Annette Beach, coordinator of the Edna Burton Senior Center said about 35 seniors were in the air conditioned center during the day on Tuesday to beat the heat.
"Anyone is welcome to come down here to the Edna Burton Center and cool off," she said. "If you don't have air conditioning and need a place to get out of the heat for awhile come on down."
Beach added the senior center needs a generator for the center in the event the power goes off
"In the event of an emergency we need a source for power—there's currently no power source here. We could hold about 80 residents in here at one time."
Brandon Fire Chief David Kwapis said there were no reports of any heat related problems this past week.
"There's was no heat emergency," said Kawpis. "If we had serious weather issues causing a power outage then a cooling center would have been established."
Jerry Kowoski, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) president said about 100 seniors citizens were contacted on Tuesday during the heat.
"We were in phone connect with senior citizens in the township," said Kowoski. "Everyone was doing well that we contacted. If there was any issue we'd have the individual contact a family member or move the Edna Burton Senior Center. One of the problems we have is a lot of the seniors no longer have land lines for phone service. Rather, they use cell phones and it's difficult to make contact. This is the second check we've had during the summer and so far no problems."