6 dead from excessive heat in Cook County
July 7, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- At least six heat-related deaths have been confirmed in Cook County as an excessive heat warning continues through Saturday afternoon.
Those six victims were between the ages of 48 to 91. Officials say all of them were suffering from heart conditions aggravated by the heat.
With so many outdoor activities planned for the weekend, including a volleyball tournament at North Avenue Beach, doctors recommend taking precautions. If you are venturing outside, doctors say drink lots of water, take breaks to try and stay cool, and check on your friends and neighbor, especially those without air conditioning.
One organizer of the volleyball tournament said hosting they event were preparing for the heat.
"The heat is very serious to us. We've taken a lot of precautions, a lot of them added within in the last 48 hours. We have 5,000 bottles of Ice Mountain wate. We've added mister fans. We've added extra tents to make sure people have shade, both our staff and participants," said Chicago Sport and Social Club Pres. Jason Erkes.
Also scheduled for the weekend are a country music concert featuring singers Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw at Soldier Field, the North Michigan Avenue Art Festival downtown, the Gary Air Show in northwest Indiana, and a White Sox baseball game.
"Even people who are relatively healthy have a hard time in this heat. They can get dehydrated very easily. They have to stay hydrated and cool off as much as possible. It can touch on any person at any time," said ER physician Louis Hondros.
Chicago police and fire crews say they have responded to numerous calls of blown transformers. ComEd confirms power usage Friday was about 50 percent higher than the normal amount this time in July.
local, diane pathieu
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