Excessive heat affects travel and services in the region

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Locals are feeling the effects of excessive heat on travel and services.

Sound Transit customers using the rail systems on Monday experienced delays of 20 to 25 minutes due to trains running at reduced speeds. The slower trip was made for safety in the high temperatures.

Scott Thompson, a spokesperson, said the Link Light Rail was operating at 30 MPH, instead of its normal limit of 50 MPH. He also said the Sounder Commuter Rail was operating at 40 MPH, instead of its normal limit of 50 to 60 MPH.

Thompson said that in excessive heat, the tracks expand and contract, which distorts the shape. This could potentially derail the train.

“With Link Light Rail you have some problems. There is the track situation, but you also have to worry about overhead power lines. They are kept under tension with metal tensioners. And if these metal turnbuckles get hot they expand, then the power lines tend to sag and it becomes a connectivity issue, ”said Thompson.

Sound Transit also halted construction across the region during excessive heat on Monday.

“These guys are out there with helmets, helmets, gloves and stuff and it’s hard to be cool when you’re working that close to hot stuff,” Thompson said.

A number of roads across the region have warped under the scorching sun. On Monday, teams from the Washington State Department of Transportation repaired the pavement on I-5 South near 130th Street NE.

In Snohomish County, a large car fire on I-5 North turned into a brush fire. Teams were able to extinguish the flames before they spread.

People trying to stay cool on the third day of heat said it was not only uncomfortable, but also dangerous.

“Honestly, I’ve passed out from the heat before. So that’s scary. You should drink some water,” said Dallas Jennings as he walked through the Angle Lake station to SeaTac. “It doesn’t matter how hot it is in here.”

“I stay in the house with everything closed and the fans on and I continue to drink water,” said Carol Harvey as she walked through the Angle Lake station to SeaTac. “It’s not Seattle. It’s not good. If it was East Washington, it would be nice, dry heat, perfect. West Washington? No. We don’t. not that.”

Some customers at Republic Services’ garbage collection in southern King County did not see the pickup on Monday. The company said it was too hot for teams to service each neighborhood.

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