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Residents brace for extreme heat

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 5:30 a.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 6:39 a.m. CST
Caption
(Sandy Bressner - sbressner@shawmedia.com)
(Right to left) Lauren Haefer, 9, Camille Drancik, 8, and Mara Drancik, 10, enjoy a cool treat on a hot day Monday afternoon at Moolala in Batavia.

Residents should be sure to drink plenty of water when they are outside the next few days as the Tri-Cities area swelters through a heat wave.

Through Wednesday, heat indexes are expected to be around 100 degrees, said Jamie Enderlen, National Weather Service meteorologist.

The heat wave began Monday, as a southerly flow of air – which tapped into moisture from the Gulf of Mexico – moved into the area.

“It is much more humid,” Enderlen said. “The air feels heavier.”

The Kane County Health Department advises residents to take precautions during the heat wave. That includes staying hydrated and drinking extra fluids when exercising or spending time outdoors on hot days.

The department also urges residents to watch for signs of heat exhaustion. Symptoms may include headaches, weak pulse, rapid pulse, excessive sweating or dizziness.

If they suspect they have heat exhaustion, residents are advised to take action immediately to cool down, including immersing themselves in water.

Residents also are asked to conserve electricity to lower their bills and save the cities money. Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles run their own electric departments.

The city of Batavia on Monday issued an electric peak alert.

Monday’s alert advised residents running their air conditioners to turn up their thermostats by 5 degrees and to turn off any unused lights and electric appliances.

Batavia’s electric utility has been able to keep up with demand, said Robert Rogde, Batavia electric utility division superintendent.

“We’re doing well,” he said. “Monday, we were in the neighborhood of where we peaked last June. We may go a little higher in the next few days.”

The heat wave is expected to break Wednesday night, when a cold front moves through, Enderlen said.

Temperatures on Thursday are expected to be in the low to mid 80s, which is average for this time of year.

Summer doesn’t officially arrive until Wednesday, but the area already had 10 days in which the mercury reached at least 90 degrees – five in May and five in June, Enderlen said. That is way above average.

“On average, through the end of June, we have 4.2 days where the temperature is 90 degrees or more,” she said.

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