Iowa tailgaters brave heat - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa tailgaters brave heat

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Hopes and temperatures were high in Iowa City on Saturday, as the Hawkeyes took on Northern Illinois in their season opener. A harsh sun beat down both on and off the field, but still, thousand of tailgaters braved the high heat.

Tom Robinson has been tailgating Hawkeye games since he graduated from the University of Iowa in 1974.

"I'm a Hawkeye fanatic," he said.

Because of the oppressive heat, he brought some interesting accessories to Saturday's game – including an oscillating fan from his home.

"I got to thinking," he said. "I've got a generator, and I've got electricity -- why not bring a fan?"

But this fan's fan could be even more important on a day like Saturday, where temperatures soared, and with them, reports of heat distress.

University of Iowa Police reported dozens of heat-related medical calls at Kinnick Stadium, because the dangers of heat are only compounded by alcohol induced dehydration.

But officials said the easiest way to treat heat illness is to prevent it in the first place. They recommend taking care of yourself by drinking plenty of fluids, wearing light colored clothing, and finally, if necessary, finding some shade to cool off.

Emergency responders on hand at the stadium said there is one main way to spot if a friend is dangerously overheated: they won't look right.

"Just very pale," said Nathan Barnes of Iowa City Fire & Rescue. "They don't sweat as much as they should. If they're not sweating at all, that's bad."

Lori Lloyd said she plans to strike a balance between safety an celebration.

"I'm going to have lots of water on hand," she said. "We're going to have other beverages before that, but water in the hydration areas, that would be key."

Heat aside, spirits were still high in the Kinnick parking lot.

"Go Hawks, man!" Robinson yelled.

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