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Brutal heat bakes Gwinnett

Staff Photo: John Bohn Chris Nantz, of Duluth, cools off while working to repair an underground sprinkler system in Suwanee Friday afternoon. The forecasted high temperature for Friday in Suwanee is 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

Staff Photo: John Bohn Chris Nantz, of Duluth, cools off while working to repair an underground sprinkler system in Suwanee Friday afternoon. The forecasted high temperature for Friday in Suwanee is 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn A thermometer placed on the hood of a vehicle that is parked in direct sunlight in Suwanee, reads 120.6 degrees Fahrenheit Friday afternoon. The forecasted high temperature for Friday in Suwanee is 104 degrees F.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Pal Muthiah, 7, left, and his brother Subbu Muthiah, 11, of Suwanee, eat ice cream in Suwanee Friday afternoon. The forecasted high temperature for Friday in Suwanee is 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

Just how hot was it Friday afternoon?

"Like throwing an egg in a frying pan, and you're the egg," said J.D. Langston, a construction worker and Gwinnett County resident. Langston, a 10-year veteran of the field said he can't remember the last time it got so blazing hot.

Meteorologists say it's only going to get worse over the next 48 hours, with little relief in sight.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for most of North Georgia on Friday afternoon as local temperatures reached 105 degrees, inching toward all-time heat records for this time of year.

With forecasters predicting continued triple-digit temperatures this weekend, the heat advisory remains in effect until Sunday evening.

"We don't get these types of temperatures very often," said Meteorologist Robert Garcia with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City. "It's very hot during the day, and at night it's really not cooling down that much."

Garcia said the hottest recorded weather in Atlanta for this time of year was 106 degrees. That was in 1980. "We're forecasting that we do have a chance to either tie or shatter that record tomorrow," he said.

Chris Nantz, a landscaper who lives in Duluth, said he's never seen it so hot. "It's bad all right," said Nantz Friday afternoon as he took a break from repairing a sprinkler system. For relief, Nantz and co-workers took a water break and hung back in the shade.

One of the only advantages to the heat is that it's prime ice cream eating weather. The Muthiah Family of Suwanee thought so anyway. Valli Muthiah brought her sons, Pal, 7, and Subbu, 11, to a local eatery for a frozen dairy treat.

"They love it," Valli said. "Earlier (today) we went to the pool. We're doing what we can to stay cool."

Officials with the Department of Public Health said the Muthiah family has the right idea.

The department issued a news release on Friday cautioning residents to avoid strenuous outdoor activity and prolonged exposure to the sun.

"More people die from heat than from any other weather-related event or natural disaster," said DPH Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald. "We're sounding the alarm now and we're sounding it loudly."

The department encouraged residents to observe safety guidelines throughout the next several days:

-- Stay indoors, in air-conditioned buildings and avoid direct sunlight

-- Never leave a child or person in a parked vehicle--not even for a moment

-- Limit outdoor activity when the sun is most dangerous from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

-- Bathe in cool water to reduce body temperature

-- Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol or liquids containing caffeine or sugar

-- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing

-- Check on at-risk friends, family and neighbors at least twice a day.