CHICAGO (CBS) – Sizzling temperatures will likely be around for a few more days, and for folks who have to be outside in this heat, it can be unbearable.
“Oh, it’s brutal. We’ve got a five-gallon bucket of water that we put ice in, that we’re using to drink out of,” construction worker Josh Havens said while working downtown early Wednesday. “We usually just come straight in, and just eat snacks throughout the night. It’s too hot to eat a big meal. It would really just tear you up.”
CBS 2′s Susanna Song reports, for construction workers, who have no choice but to work outside in the blistering conditions for hours on end, they take special steps to beat the heat.
“You’ve got to start out with a good breakfast in the morning, and then because usually you don’t eat the rest of the day because it’s so hot, you just stay hydrated,” construction worker Justin Radford said. “When you can take a break, take a break and go in the shade.”
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Even those who don’t have to be outside for extended periods should take steps to stay cool when they are outdoors, especially if they are exercising.
Many joggers were trying to beat the heat, while still getting in their daily run, by hitting the Lakefront Path before dawn, to avoid exercising in the scorching sun.
“I just come out early in the morning, before it gets too hot and humid,” Jim Goodman said while jogging at North Avenue Beach. “Make sure you drink a lot of liquid … just stay hydrated, and I think that’s really the key, if you stay hydrated and just do what you normally do. But later in the day, as it heats up, it’s a little bit worse outside.”
Even before sunrise, temperatures were in the mid- to upper-70s, and the humidity made for pretty muggy conditions, so runners know waiting until later in the day could be dangerous, with temperatures set to rise to the mid-90s, and a heat index that could reach 100 degrees or more.
In such conditions, city officials stress people should avoid going outside, limit stressful activity, and wear loose, light, cotton clothes.
Those who don’t have air conditioning can visit one of many cooling centers throughout the city, including public libraries, park district fieldhouses, and public schools. You can call 311 to find cooling centers near you.
The city also operates six cooling centers at Department of Family and Support Services community centers at 10 S. Kedzie Av., 4357 W. Armitage Av., 845 W. 69th St., 4740 N. Sheridan Rd., 4314 S. Cottage Grove Av., and 8650 S. Commercial Av. Those centers are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
The hot weather will continue through Friday, with highs in the low- to mid-90s each day, and heat indexes that could reach triple digits. Friday could be the worst day for heat, with an expected high of 95 degrees, but Friday night should bring some relief as a cold front moves in, dropping temperatures to the low 70s Friday night. High temperatures on Saturday and Sunday should be in the low 80s or high 70s.