Dangerous Heat To Hover All Week Long
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UPDATED 07/18/11 9:00 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — This is only the beginning.
Conditions will be sticky and miserable all week, and officials are advising Chicagoans to watch out for their neighbors who might be at risk.
A heat advisory is in effect throughout the Chicago area, including all the collar counties and Northwest Indiana, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday.
Under a heat advisory, anyone who works or spends time outside is advised to take precautions, and reschedule strenuous activities for the early morning or evening. Wearing light and loose-fitting clothing and drinking plenty of water is also advisable, the National Weather Service emphasizes.
CBS 2 Meteorologist Megan Glaros says temperatures will hover in the 90s, with heat indices rising to 100 to 105 degrees.
Even overnight, temperatures are expected to remain in the 80s.
And you might as well get used to the heat, because it’s not going anywhere in the foreseeable future. The forecast high for Monday is 94, Tuesday 92, Wednesday 95, Thursday 97, Friday 94, Saturday 92 and Sunday 90. Thunderstorms are expected on several of those days.
CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez says if you have to be outside, it’s a good idea to be near a giant puddle of water – be it Lake Michigan, a pool or a fountain such as the Crown Fountain at Millennium Park.
Tourists from Memphis were at Millennium Park, where the sun was blazing off The Bean. They said they were already used to this kind of heat, Newsradio 780’s Nancy Harty reports.
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“It gets like this all the time and we feel like we are at home,” said one woman. “It’s worse there actually.”
Due to the heat, officials at Millennium Park decided to close the Family Fun Festival at 2 p.m. on Monday, an hour earlier than normal.
The heat also proved to be treacherous for those who had to be outside. A Chicago firefighter was on his back after fighting a blaze at 75th and May streets on the city’s South Side early Monday morning.
The city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications asks that you keep an eye on the elderly and the infirm, and make sure they’re coping well.
The city is trying to avoid a repeat of July 1995. Temperatures hovered in the 100-plus range for days – one day hitting a record-setting 106 degrees – and the heat was blamed for 739 deaths.
The Chicago Department of Family & Support Services, which has six cooling centers across the city, reports that 117 people visited them Monday. The agency took 45 requests for well-being checks. The Chicago Fire Department says it responded to 18 calls related to the heat.
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You can always call the city’s 311 info line for locations where you can keep cool, including police stations, libraries, and any of six official cooling centers.
At Chicago Park District camps, counselors are trying to keep the kids cool and safe. Camp counselors are alternating the agenda this week to cope with the heat wave.
At Montrose Park, where kids were running up and down the field in soccer camp, the heat was really taking its toll. But more rest periods were being taken.
Counselors also encourage parents to send plenty of water for their children.
Lisa Geiger was taking no chances with her son Grayson. She sat on the sideline during camp.
“I’m here specifically to make sure he’s hydrated and cooling off,” she told CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker. “With this heat it just makes me nervous.”
Meanwhile, the Chicago Public Schools, some of which operate year-round or have students in class for summer school, are also taking precautions to make sure pupils are hydrated and comfortable.
More than 1,500 fans have been distributed to the schools, some of which do not have air conditioning. The schools also advise teachers and staff to draw shades in rooms to keep out the sunlight, turn off overhead lights in rooms, move classes to cooler classrooms when possible, limit outdoor activities, and provide water to keep students hydrated.
Parents are advised to dress their children in light cotton clothing and send them to school with a reusable water bottle.
Also, everyone is advised to keep an eye out for warning signs of heat stroke – profuse sweating, pale skin, a rapid and weak pulse, dizziness, and confusion. If you see people with these symptoms, the Center for Disease Control says you should get them to a shady area, cool them with a hose, and wrap them in a cold, wet sheet.