Chicago's weather heats up Friday

June 18, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Forecasters are predicting it will be a scorcher with temperatures of at least 90 this weekend. While North Avenue Beach will most likely be one of the more popular places, city officials remain concerned that there will be heat-related problems.

It's not even summer officially yet but the heat will be on as Chicagoland prepares to experience what could be one of its warmest weeks in a long time. And because of that, officials at the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, the Chicago Department of Public Health and other city departments are advising residents to take the hot weather seriously. Common-sense precautions include drinking a lot of water while outdoors to avoid dehydration as well as checking on family members, the elderly and sick neighbors.

"We will activate the extreme weather operations plan, which involves more than two dozen city departments and sister agencies as the situation warrants," said Jose Santiago, OEMC executive director.

City officials are urging Chicagoans to call 311 for well-being checks. The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services plans on opening cooling centers as they monitor the temperatures.

While city officials remain concerned about the possibility of heat-related emergencies, most people out here are just trying to enjoy the weather.

Not long after the sun came up, beachgoers Liz Kerrigan and Kim Mulligan began staking their claim.

"The weather is too good. I figure I might as well come out before everybody else comes out here," Kerrigan said.

"Plenty of water, at least a bottle, bottle and a half every hour, throw some other sport drink in there to supplement a little bit," said Trevor Greco, beachgoer.

Some lucky people even get to work on North Avenue Beach.

"Heat, garbage -- that's all you can say. Heat and garbage. You can't say so much about it," said worker Rafael Arceo.

"Even my wife says, you know, I can't get mad at you working at the beach because there's some pretty ladies out here," said worker Aaron Taylor.

"Plenty of sunscreen, applying a couple of times, like every couple of hours," said beachgoer Amanda Warren.

Joe Smith says that's just the weather he needs for a good workout.

"This is just a beautiful day this morning. It was kind of rainy looking. I was looking forward to taking a walk down here," said he said.

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