A hot holiday weekend has settled over the region - temperatures are expected to hover around 90 degrees until Sunday - and property owners coming to the shore for the first time since Hurricane Sandy may be in for an unpleasant surprise.

"They are noticing now that the (air-conditioning) is not working properly," said Phil Wilson, of Coastal Plumbing, Heating and A.C. in Ocean City.

Wilson said about 15 percent of the company's business is coming from complications resulting from "fly-by-nighters who came in for Sandy (repairs) and said they were going to do work that they didn't do - such as reconnecting the duct work," Wilson said.

As a general rule, however, when the temperature rises the number of calls increases for his business, he said. "This is how I grew up."

In addition to air-conditioning repair businesses, farmers also welcome the heat to the area, especially after such a wet spring.

"Most of New Jersey has a sandy, loamy soil, so it drains very quickly," said Al Murray, New Jersey's assistant secretary of agriculture. "But some areas have a denser, heavier soil, so they definitely feel the effect when we get a lot of rain in a short period of time."

What farmers need now, he said, is some dry breezy days to dry out the fields.

"We'd rather have the hot, dry weather. We can put water on where we need it," said Tom Sheppard, who owns a farm in the Cedarville section of Lawrence Township, Cumberland County.

The weather in this region is expected to be sunny and in the high 80s this weekend and the temperatures will drop to the low 80s at the beginning of next week, when scattered thunderstorms are possible, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Walter Drag.

But he notes it is likely temperatures will remain high through the next week.

"We're in a prolonged heat spell," he said.

The shore areas are the best place to go for people trying to escape the heat, with winds making the coastal climate cooler than inland, he said. Though he does warn that there is a chance of rip currents, so swimmers should only go in when a lifeguard is present.

He said ocean water temperatures are in the upper 50s to 60s in many parts of the region.

"It may be a little shocking when they go in the water," he said.

Steve Stocks, chief of the Wildwood Beach Patrol, said the beaches have been the best place for people to avoid the heat since there have been many afternoon winds that have cooled down beachgoers.

The patrol has not had any calls of people suffering from any heat-related problems, he said.

"It's been hot and muggy in the morning, but then winds in the afternoon make it very pleasant down here," he said.

Stocks said the patrol reminds its lifeguards every morning to have umbrellas, sunscreen and plenty of fluids to protect themselves against the heat.

Local hospitals did not report any excessive calls of treating patients with heat-related illnesses.

No weather alerts have been issued for this area, but an excessive heat watch has been issued for nearby counties in southern New Jersey, including Camden, Gloucester and Burlington.

The National Weather Service expects those counties to see temperatures in the 90s along with high humidity. Officials advise residents stay hydrated, stay out of the sun and check on neighbors and relatives.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Anjalee Khemlani:

609-272-7247

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Contact Joel Landau:

609-272-7215