At the Tikki Hut slide structure, there is a bucket of sorts suspended off to the side of its steps. It fills with pool water relatively slowly, especially if you are 5 years old.
Charlotte Mills is 5. The Sumner girl was visiting the Oelwein Family Aquatic Center in Thursday’s heavy heat, and she stood beneath the bucket, eyes scrunched shut, head bowed, arms crossed and hands on shoulders. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
Then, the waterfall sped down on her. Relief! And a splash bigger than her.
A lot of children and adults were looking for that kind of relief Thursday at the municipal pool, which last year at this time was shuttered because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Signs remain in the pool building reminding people to stay 6-feet away from others unless they are in your party.
The National Weather Service has forecast that the heat and humidity will continue Friday with high temperatures in the 90s. While the highest heat index values in the region for Thursday were expected to be from 95 to 100, those indexes are likely to reach 95 to 105 Friday.
As of Thursday morning, moderate drought conditions have expanded throughout northeast Iowa, including to all of Bremer, Buchanan, Clayton and Fayette Counties, according to the US Drought Monitor.
The Oelwein pool, by the way, is open daily from noon to 7 p.m.