A Columbia man who was nearly 100 years old on Thursday became the second victim this week of temperatures that forecasters say felt like more than 100 degrees.
Raymond F. Twork, 98, of Barfield Road, died of heat-related causes, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said Friday. The air conditioner in the home was found not working and the indoor temperature was in the mid-90s, Watts said.
Twork had heart issues that contributed to his susceptibility to the heat, Watts said.
Also on Thursday, Sgt. 1st Class Clayton Z. Hughes, 35, a Fort Jackson drill sergeant, collapsed and died after a two-mile morning fitness run.
The drill sergeant from Delta Company, 120th Adjutant General Battalion, had just completed the final event of a semi-annual Army physical fitness test. He was taken to Providence Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 7:56 a.m., Fort Jackson officials said.
“His death was definitely related to the heat,” Watts said.
The last two overnights have experienced an unusually high heat indexes, said Al Moore, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office at Columbia Metropolitan Airport.
From Wednesday into Thursday, the air temperature did not fall below 77 degrees at the downtown Hamilton-Owens Field weather station and with high humidity, the heat index was 88 around 3 a.m.
“Even with open windows, there would have been very little relief,” Moore said, noting that there was no breeze to speak of.
While temperatures in the Midlands will be moderating slightly over the next few days, overnight conditions will remain “very stuffy and uncomfortable,” said Moore.
IN NEED OF A FAN?
In Richland County, Project Hope hands out fans to elderly residents in need. Call 803-576-3183. In Lexington, those in neeed can call 803-358-1504.