Volunteers hammer out the heat on Johns Island

Volunteers hammer out the heat on Johns Island

JOHNS ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - For the last 17 years, HomeWorks has been driving volunteers to Johns Island to fix up homes that are in need of repair. This year the organization is attempting to renovate 13 homes before they leave Saturday. The only thing standing in the way of reaching their goal is the intense heat.

"It's like you're working in a sauna," said 5-year volunteer Gee Davis.

Davis is one of 100 volunteers to make the trip to Johns Island to spend a week repairing homes.

"We're down here to help people that aren't able to help themselves," said Davis.

Founder and Executive Director of HomeWorks, Hank Chardos, said the work is the easy part. It's the muggy heat that is their ultimate obstacle.

"The heat's terrible," said Chardos. "They celebrate when they feel a breeze coming through."

Chardos says although his team is focused they are also being extremely cautious.

"Even if you're not thirsty have a drink on me," said Chardos to his volunteers. "We have water, we have Gatorade. We're very conscious that on some regular basis they're going to be drinking."

Davis is pounding water as fast as he can.

"I just feel like I'm a faucet," said the volunteer. "I'm just leaking sweat right now. It's really, really hot."

But Davis said they have people in place at each repair site to make sure the crews are taken care of.

"We've got a least one person on every site, at all the sites, that's in charge of making sure everybody is getting enough water," said Davis.

But Chardos says the focus is on helping others and even the most extreme heat won't stop his volunteers.

"What gets you oblivious to the heat is what you're doing," said Chardos. "In spite of the fact the heat index is over 100 we can still get a lot done."

The National Weather Service in Charleston said it's been 90 degrees or hotter for the last 29 days. The record for most consecutive days with temps above 90 degrees was set in 1993 at 42 days.

Even though it's felt miserably hot this month, there have only been two heat advisories in the month of July. An advisory is issued when it feels like it's between 110 and 114 degrees outside.

One excessive heat warning was issued in July. That's when it feels like it's 115 degrees or higher.

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