An excessive heat warning remains in effect for the Chicago area through 8 p.m. Wednesday, and experts are advising residents to keep a close eye on their loved ones and neighbors during the scorching-hot temperatures.
Complicating matters for some residents has been the after-effects of a series of thunderstorms that rolled through the area Monday. At a South Shore building, power has been out since Monday night, and residents are looking for any tools at their disposal to stay cool.
“A lot of elderly people are in there. They’re next door, and there’s no light, and nothing they can do,” Melanie Beard, who’s building also lost power, said. “We have to wait in the middle of a heat wave. That’s what makes it so terrible,.”
Beard, along with her husband and kids, opened up a Sno-Cone stand at 74th Street and South Stony Island to help residents cope with the conditions.
Other neighbors brought over battery-powered fans and lights to help get through another sweltering light.
“It’s 107 degrees out right now. I don’t know how I’m going to cope,” Oladipueo Olatunji said.
Officials at the Grand Regency of South Shore say that they are doing checks every half hour on residents, and that a cooling bus has been parked at the facility until the power comes back on, which they say will hopefully occur Tuesday night.
Both ComEd and AT&T crews were seen in the neighborhood working on downed lines following Monday’s storms.
Elsewhere, the heat was causing issues for some Secretary of State offices, forcing closures and late arrivals. On the South Shore Metra line, temperature-based speed restrictions were also put in place, causing delays as trains crawled their way through the area.
The activism group “My Hood, My block, My City” also helped out senior citizens who needed relief.
“If there’s a heat wave like today, we went to Target and got box fans, bought a lot of water, and we delivered all over the city,” activist Jahmal Cole said. “We were in Humboldt Park today to help families that needed it.”
In addition to checking on loved ones and neighbors, residents are also being urged to step up their water intake to help avoid dehydration, and to keep a close watch for symptoms of heatstroke or heat exhaustion, with symptoms often mirroring the flu.
Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications is also urging residents to call 311 if they need assistance during the heat wave, and to be wary of over-exertion even after the sun goes down.