Complete coverage of Texas' record heat wave of 2011

Dallas Tries to Avoid Meltdown at Back-to-School Fair

By Ellen Goldberg
|  Thursday, Aug 4, 2011  |  Updated 10:46 AM CDT
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With temperatures again expected to climb into triple digits Thursday, the city will have plenty of water on hand for families.

Ellen Goldberg, NBCDFW.com

With temperatures again expected to climb into triple digits Thursday, the city will have plenty of water on hand for families.

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With temperatures again expected to climb into triple digits Thursday, Dallas is taking precautions to ensure the safety of the tens of thousands expected at the annual Mayor's Back-to-School Fair.

Free school supplies, vaccinations and vision tests are expected to draw 40,000 to Thursday's event at Fair Park.

Temperatures have risen to the triple-digits in North Texas for 33 straight days, and no relief is in sight.

Two year ago, thousands of people spent close to three hours standing in long lines outdoors. More than a dozen people passed out.

This year, the event will have four hydration stations, and 60 volunteers solely assigned to passing out water bottles.

Because of the extreme heat, the city added additional tents and paramedics will patrol the lines.

“They have it down to a science; I’m serious,” said volunteer Marlo Cofer, a preschool teacher.

Fair volunteers were advised to bring wet cloths and wear light-colored clothing.

“It’s going to be plenty hot out here tomorrow,” said Kelly Kilpatrick, a volunteer and kindergarten teacher.

“I hope they have enough water for the amount of people that are going to be out here," another volunteer said.

Thursday's event will be Cofer's fourth year volunteering at the fair, and she's not sweating it.

“It’s just going be hot, that's it," she said. "And they have those big water coolers, and they have water, so it’s not really a concern."

Crowds are expected to start lining up at 4 a.m. The doors are open from 8 a.m. through 3 p.m. Families must meet certain, low-income guidelines to qualify for the free goods and services.

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