Chicago did you know?
As the weather is expected to reach and exceed 100 degrees
over the weekend, I read that 10-years ago this week in Chicago a scorching heatwave killed 739 residents in a seven day spell in the city.
For two days the temperature exceeded 100 degrees. So many people used air conditioning that there were widespread power shortages. Nearly 200,000 homes lost electricity, some for as long as two days. Residents, especially in poorer areas, illegally turned on more than 3,000 street fire hydrants; several communities on the predominately black south side lost water pressure. The city sent crews to seal the hydrants, but when they arrived some were pelted with rocks, bottles and even bullets.
Most of the heat wave victims were the elderly poor living in the heart of the city, who either had no air conditioning or could not afford to turn it on. Many older citizens were also hesitant to open windows and doors at night for fear of crime.
It was one of the worst ever natural disaster death-tolls in the country. The more widely known Hurricane Andrew killed 23, 700 died in the 1906 California Earthquake and during the great Chicago Fire in 1871, 300 people perished.