Evanston residents cope with record temperatures

Audrey Cheng

Evanston made two public buildings accessible Wednesday, in the midst of a heat advisory warning slated to continue through Friday evening.

The city opened Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center and Robert Crown Community Center, which served as respites for citizens enduring the hot weather. Some Evanston residents experienced some power outages Wednesday, leaving them without air conditioning. The buildings were originally scheduled to be closed Wednesday.

ComEd Representative Noelle Gaffney said in an email Thursday that outages included one that impacted 2500 customers.

“It was due to an equipment problem, and was reported at 5:50 p.m.” Gaffney said in an email. “Power was restored at 6:35 p.m.”

Martha Logan, city public information specialist, sent out a city newsletter Thursday, listing a number of tips to prevent heat-related illness.

The tips included drinking more fluids (non-alcoholic), staying indoors, taking a cold shower or bath and never leaving anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.

“People should spend two or more hours a day in air conditioning to break that long string of being hot,” Logan told The Daily on Thursday.

Logan added that although Evanston Public Library was closed for the July 4th holiday, it is also a common and useful location for residents to take a break from the heat.

Carl Caneva, city environmental health division manager, also offered tips for Evanston residents. He said the city has advised residents – especially the elderly – to try and stay in cool places as much as possible, and to not go out during the hottest times of day, or during afternoon hours.

“(We’ve advised) if they have to go out, to try to keep themselves cool by wearing cool clothing,” Caneva said. “Bring water with them, so trying to keep their body temperature down. Try and make sure they’re going to a place that has some form of cooling.”

Caneva added that Evanston has had two or three consecutive days of heat advisories before, so the current heat advisory is not something that is unique. He said the heat advisory is sent out by the city when the real-feel temperature is at 105 degrees, not what degree the actual temperature is.

Weather Underground reported a temperature of 93 degrees Wednesday night at 8:52 p.m. before the fireworks. Some people opted out of participating in holiday activities this year, because of the heat.

Chicago-resident Elisa Dworak said though she usually goes to see fireworks on July 4th, she chose not to partake in festivities this year, because of the “oppressively hot” weather.

Dworak, who works in Evanston, said the Fourth of July didn’t really feel like a holiday this year, because the heat made her stay inside.

Despite how “hot and drippy” people have been for the past few days, Dworak said she is optimistic.

“It looks like Saturday is when we’re going to have a break in the weather, so it’s just a few more days left,” she said.

Besides the two community centers opened on Wednesday, three other public spaces – the Chandler-Newberger Community Center, Ecology Center and Levy Senior Center – are opened for cooling purposes until the end of the heat advisory.

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