Intense Heat Lingers For Another Day
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UPDATED 07/21/11 11:11 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago is being dragged through another day of intense heat, with temperatures again soaring toward the upper 90s.
CBS 2 Meteorologist Megan Glaros reports an excessive heat warning is still in effect until 9 p.m. Thursday for all Chicago area counties and beyond.
As of 11 a.m., the temperature measured 90 degrees officially at O’Hare International Airport, 92 degrees at Midway International Airport, and at the hottest, 93 degrees in Kankakee.
The heat indices weren’t nearly as severe as those on Wednesday, but were still misery-inducing. The heat index at O’Hare was 97, at Midway 98, and at Kankakee 107.
Temperatures are expected to climb into the upper 90s, with heat index readings between 105 and 115 degrees.
And the lack of the sun in the overnight hours brought little relief. At 4:45 a.m., the temperature was already 82 degrees at O’Hare International Airport, and 85 degrees at Waukegan.
This is the fifth consecutive day on which temperatures have exceeded 90 degrees.
As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, it’s particularly difficult for people without air conditioning, of which there are more than a few. As of 5 a.m., about 6,400 ComEd customers were without power.
Most of the outages were scattered, but the Lakeview neighborhood was hit particularly hard with 2,000.
ComEd workers said the transformer at Ashland Avenue and Diversey Parkway that caused the outage likely was not damaged by the heat, but rather by an earlier lightning strike. Strangely, the outages did not affect the area immediately adjacent to the transformer, but rather an area 10 blocks away.
On Wednesday, the temperature hit 100 degrees at Northerly Island. No matter where you go across the Chicago area, the heat has been taking its toll.
“It can definitely make you more fatigued,” said runner Erika Hilgenberg. “You definitely have to worry about heat stroke and exhaustion. That’s why I’ve got my water in my hand, which I almost never run with.”
Water in hand is what gave Hilgenberg the strength to keep running. She considers this good training weather for the Chicago Marathon.
The temperature Wednesday evening in the Lincoln Park neighborhood was close to reaching three digits.
“I was in an air conditioned room, and the moment I walked outside, it was like a heat wave had hit me,” said commuter Andrea Harding. “It was smoldering.”
People were not taking their time walking home or to the train station. The rule was the quicker, the better.
“I’m cool right now, but I know if I’m out another 20 minutes, it’s going to be back to square one,” said swimmer Albert Lopez.
“It’s like an oven,” said Arlene Palicchi as she walked down Clark Street near Diversey Parkway and Broadway.
The blistering heat index, which peaked close to 109 degrees Wednesday, is lingering around Chicago.
Doctors at Stroger Hospital of Cook County are prepared with cooling blankets for the overheated and IV saline solution for the dehydrated.
There is also one other simple remedy.
“You just have a bottle, you squirt someone with it, and you just blow the fan,” said Dr. Robert Feldman of Stroger Hospital.
In Grant Park, the Race Judicata for the Chicago Legal Services Foundation was supposed to be a 5K run and walk Thursday eveing. But it will now be just a walk because of the heat.
Temperatures were also sizzling in the suburbs. In Wheeling, the thermometer hit triple digits, and some people at Signature Flight Support at Chicago Executive Airport had to wear gloves to handle machinery. One worker’s gloves melted.
The public pool in Wheeling was filled to its capacity of 1,500 people, while others were forced to wait in line for the chance to cool off.
Meanwhile, the Fire Department has added more manpower to deal with the heat. Six more paramedic crews were on the streets to handle any heat-related medical issues.
The department plans to keep the extra ambulances on patrol through the weekend.