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It's not fair as heat sidelines fun rides in Stratham

Jessica Epps brought her kids to the Stratham Fair Friday afternoon hoping to enjoy some rides, but they were out of luck.

With a heat index that soared above the century mark in parts of southern New Hampshire, fair officials decided to close down the rides for a few hours in the afternoon.

They were worried riders would be stuck in the heat if equipment broke down. They also feared a ride operator could faint from heat exhaustion.

Epps, of Kittery, Maine, told her kids they would still have fun even without the rides, but they weren't so sure.

"Not as much fun as if there were rides," her daughter told her.

The heat and humidity made things miserable for anyone who worked or played outdoors Friday, but as hot as it felt, forecasters said the state capital didn't break a record.

The temperature Friday reached 95 degrees in Concord, falling short of the record of 98 degrees.

But the heat index, which combines the heat and humidity to measure what it actually feels like outside, soared above 100 in some places, said James Brown, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

The excessive heat caused health problems for some people at the Stratham Fair, fire Capt. Bryan Crosby said. Public safety officials worried not only about heat exhaustion but people being burned by hot metal on rides and other equipment.

The worst of the heat and humidity should be kicked out of New England today when a front moves through.

"It will still be pretty warm, but things should get better after that," Brown said.

Temperatures should approach 90 or higher today before the front arrives and kicks off a round of showers and potentially severe thunderstorms by midday or early afternoon.

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