If you see a lifeguard enjoying a ride down one of the water slides or taking a dip in a wave pool at
Lifeguards at the Hurricane Harbor water park at Great America switch positions every 15 or 30 minutes, said Aaron Morrison, 24, of Gurnee, an aquatics supervisor for the park. While switching, they’re encouraged to take the wettest route possible.
“We tell them to cut through the water, walk through the water, get in the water whenever they can,” he said.
3:55 p.m. July 20, 2011
Chicago officials have been called on to make more well-being checks today, but the number of request for placement in shelters and reports of open hydrants are down from earlier in the week.
As of just before 4 p.m., the city has been asked to make 96 well-being checks today, up from 51 on Tuesday and 62 on Monday, said Roderick Drew, a spokesman for the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
On Tuesday, there were 1,058 calls regarding open fire hydrants in the city, more than the 743 on Monday, Drew said. Today, there had been only 312 by a little before 4 p.m. There had been 22 requests for shelters today, with 57 on Tuesday and 75 on Monday, Drew said.
3:04 p.m. July 20, 2011
Commonwealth Edison says about 6,000 customers were without power as of 2:30 p.m., most of them from this morning's thunderstorms and the aftereffects of last week's storms.
The outage hit an area from
In all, about 2,000 customers were without power in Chicago, 1,500 in the south suburbs, and 1,000 each in the north and west suburbs.
1:06 p.m. July 20, 2011
Energy-zapping heat caused the organizers of the Chicago Bears Football camp at
The young players trooped out of Langhorst Stadium at roughly 11 a.m. and carried their gear to a gymnasium where they planned to eat lunch and then continue their workout inside.
"It was rough," said camp director Jason Hendry. "We were able to manage. We had a hose out there to spray the kids and took a lot of water breaks."
Not even a light breeze nor a cold splash of water, however, was enough to completely mitigate the effects of high humidity and the sun that beat mercilessly down on the turf.
11:51 a.m. July 20, 2011
The ambulances have teams of two paramedics each, and fire officials will monitor weather conditions, keeping the teams operating until the hot weather passes, Langford said.
11:33 a.m. July 20, 2011
Officials are warning residents to stay in cool areas and check in with neighbors as five Oak Park residents have already been transported to hospitals due to the heat, Oak Park fire officials said Wednesday. The fire department has had 13 calls during the heat wave, said Fire Chief Tom Ebson.
Of those, five were calls for paramedics due to heat-related illnesses. All five were transported to the hospital, but none were considered life-threatening.
"They were all non-critical," said Fire Chief Tom Ebson. "Of the five calls, they reported that they were due to some kind of heat exhaustion." Ebson described the ages of those who were treated as "across the board."
11:01 a.m. July 20, 2011
Exhibitors at the Kane County Fair this week are ready for the hot weather.
"Over the years, they've gotten pretty good at, and they bring enough fans, wet down the animals, so they can keep the animals pretty comfortable," said Larry Breon, president of the fair board.
A horseracing event is scheduled for the fair's grandstand event this evening, and it may be cut short because of the heat, Breon said. A truck-pull scheduled for Thursday likely won't be affected, he said.
For only the third year this year, the fair has 50,000 square feet of air conditioned exhibit space, and "We're hoping that people take advantage of that," to keep cool at the fair, which runs through Sunday at the county fairgrounds, 525 South Randall Road in St. Charles.
10:58 a.m. July 20, 2011
Today's Mid-Week Market in Oak Park his been cancelled due to the oppressive heat.
The market, which is held every Wednesday on the village parking lot on Lake Street just east of Harlem Avenue, will not be held, because organizers are concerned about the temperatures.
Pat Zubak, executive director of Downtown Oak Park, said the situation is simply unmanageable, especially because the market is held on blacktop, which only makes the conditions worse.
"Nobody is going to show up," she said this morning. "The farmers will show up, only to watch their vegetables wilt in the heat. It's just miserable out there."
Zubak said there is also some concern because the downtown sidewalk sale starts Thursday at 10 a.m., and the weather is expected to be just as hot.
She said that situation is more manageable, however, and there are no plans to cancel.
"At least with the sidewalk sale, stores have the option to switch out their staff through the day or just hold it inside," she said.
10:24 a.m. July 20, 2011
Swim bans are signified by a red flag posted at the beach and mean swimming is prohibited.
The agency has also issued a swim advisory for
Bans and advisories only apply to the water. Beaches are open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for those who want to stay on shore.
10:18 a.m. July 20, 2011
Animals at Brookfield Zoo were getting ice treats and cool showers.
Keepers were setting out blocks of ice with peanuts and raisins and other treats embedded in them for the bears, lions and
“The sloth bears are really liking it,” said Sondra Katzen, spokeswoman for the zoo, who was following keepers as they gave out the ice blocks. “The tiger not so much — I don’t know why. She’s not really doing much with it.”
Many of the animals were also getting hosed down and were given access to their indoor habitats today.
Large misters were also being used to keep human visitors cool, too, Katzen said.
9:14 a.m. July 20, 2011
Libraries, churches, YMCA's and schools were being made available for cooling centers as temperatures and humidity climbed into the danger zone today.
Officials said they also plan to step up well-being checks, and are encouraging people to check on their relatives and neighbors.
Click HERE for a list of cooling places.
8:30 a.m. July 20, 2011
About 2,100 Commonwealth Edison customers remained without power this morning because of overnight storms.
As of 8:30 a.m.,900 were without power in Chicago, 900 in the north suburbs, 300 in the south suburbs and 50 in the west suburbs.
The utility said it is still working on permanent repairs to some parts of its system damaged in last week's storms while keeping an eye on outages related to the heat. It said it has 345 crews out today.
8:27 a.m. July 20, 2011
Metra is warning riders they may see minor delays during predicted extremely high temperatures.
During extreme heat, it's necesessary to reduce train speeds "to compensate for any possible expansion and contraction of the rails," Metra said in a customer alert on its Web site.
Check Metra's Web site for any significant delays.