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Local organizations are helping Lincoln beat the heat as extreme temperatures have settled into the area this week.

An excessive heat warning continued Thursday, when the heat index at the Lincoln Airport approached 110 degrees for a second consecutive day.

The excessive heat warning extends through Saturday, with the hottest part of the heatwave still to come.

The National Weather Service said temperatures in Lincoln could soar past 100 degrees for the first time this year on Friday, when the heat index could race past 110.

Those sizzling temps will follow an uncomfortable night, with overnight lows only reaching 80.

For the second day in a row, the John Breslow Ice Hockey Center offered discount admissions on Thursday. The ice center takes $1 off admission for its public skating program for every degree above 97, offering free admission at 102 degrees.

Peggy Rasmussen of Lincoln visited the ice center Thursday with her two grandchildren, who come to Lincoln for a week every summer. She said because of the heat, they've had to largely stay indoors, but others aren't so fortunate.

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"Luckily, I'm a nurse and I work inside, so I'm pretty much spoiled, but it's such a stress on all people," Rasmussen said. "In fact, today, my grandson was asking me, 'Grandma, why are you panting?' And I said, 'Because I'm not used to the heat.' You get too spoiled by staying inside."

Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach extended its hours of operation during the heatwave and provided bottled water for people in need.

Although the kitchen is closed from 1-5 p.m., Matt Talbot kept its doors open to allow people to cool off in air-conditioned areas Thursday.

Matt Talbot staff members also were on the move around town, handing out items like bottled water to Lincoln's homeless Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.

Battalion Chief Bob Watton said although Lincoln Fire and Rescue hadn't responded to too many reports of heat exhaustion by Thursday afternoon, people should make sure they're hydrated at all times, even when they're not thirsty.

People are encouraged to keep tabs on others, including young children and the elderly, as well as pets.

Forecasters say a cold front could bring some relief by Saturday evening, with temperatures on Sunday expected to hold in the low- to mid-80s. The normal high in mid-July is 89 degrees.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7241 or cspilinek@journalstar.com.

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