The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch for most of southern Minnesota, which will be in effect Wednesday afternoon through Friday evening. A combination of high temperatures in the 90s coupled with dew points between 75 and 80 degrees will increase the risk of heat-related illnesses.

Steele County Public Health reminds people to avoid strenuous activity or direct sunlight between the hours of 10AM and 4PM. Remember to drink plenty of fluids. Wear loose fitting lightweight clothes. Use sunscreen and remember your pets.

Signs of possible illnesses related to excessive heat include muscle cramps, heavy sweating, flushed skin, headache, nausea, dizziness and a rapid heart rate.

People who don't have air conditioning and need a place to go where it's cool may go to the following locations:

  • Owatonna Public Library, which is open from 9AM to 9PM on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 9AM to 5PM on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
  • Blooming Prairie Public Library, which is open from 10AM to 6PM on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 10AM to 8PM Thursday, 10AM to 5PM on Friday and 10AM to 1PM Saturday.
  • Steele County Public Health is open weekdays from 8AM to 5PM.
  • Senior Place for Senior Citizens is open from 8AM to 4PM weekdays.