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St. Louis Rigs Used to Cool Cardinals Fans

ST. LOUIS -- It's too late to move the Cardinals' weekend games from afternoons to nights, but the St. Louis Fire Department will try to help fans with the heat.

That probably means turning a firetruck or two into portable water sprayers, a city official said Thursday. St. Louis Public Safety Director Charles Bryson asked the ballclub to reschedule its weekend day games with the Minnesota Twins to avoid the worst of the heat wave.

The National Weather Service forecasts a high Saturday of 99, with a slight moderation Sunday to 92. A Cardinals spokesman said it was too late to reschedule the games because of television contracts, workers' schedules and other issues. So Bryson said the Fire Department, which reports to him, will be down at Busch Stadium to offer help.

Bryson said the city will prepare a heat-relief plan in time for Saturday's 12:10 p.m. start. Game time Sunday is 1:15 p.m. Thursday's high was 96 degrees, marking the ninth day above 90 degrees and the fourth at 95 or hotter. The forecast for today is for more of the same.

The city Emergency Medical Service responded to four cases of heat-related symptoms Thursday and transported one 75-year-old man to St. Mary's Health Center, where he was treated. The service has handled 33 such cases during the hot spell.

A water main break on Schuetz Road near Lackland Road in Maryland Heights late Thursday morning was indirectly caused by the heat, said Missouri American Water spokeswoman Ann Dettmer. When the temperature rises, so does the demand for water, and big pressure changes tend to cause breaks, she said. Water from the 8-inch main blocked traffic in one lane of Schuetz but was repaired by midafternoon.

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