Heat wave begins in Chicago, some pools closed

June 18, 2012 (CHICAGO)

As temperatures rose into the 90s, people flocked to Chicago-area beaches and pools to try and beat the heat.

"It feels good, because today is a hot day and I want to get wet," said Dajuan Lasseter.

Monday could be one of the hottest days of the year so far. With temperatures in 90s and high humidity, it could feel like a 100 degrees in some places.

"We moved right back into the 90s and there you sit, 94 at O'Hare. That's the highest number on this map," said ABC7 meteorologist Mike Caplain. "Ninety three in Wheeling, Waukegen; 91 at Gary. Lake cooling, forget about, it's not happening. Strong southwest winds are propelling the 90s all the way to the shore."

Most of Chicago's 50 Park District outdoor pools opened Friday, just in time for this week's heat wave. But because of new drainage requirements, 11 neighborhood pools are still closed.

A list with the status of each outdoor pool is posted on the Chicago Park District website.

The Chicago Park District said employees worked 15-hour days over the weekend to try to complete the projects.

"It's disappointing because it's extremely hot out here, but sprinklers on and there's shade so it makes things a little bit better," said Asia Alexander, who was at Fuller Park where the pool was closed but sprinklers were on.

Meanwhile, all 24 of the city's indoor pools are open.

Not only are the temperatures higher than usual for this early in the season, it's also drier. In Tinley Park, the lack of rain is showing on people's lawns.

"I've seen a lot of neighbors watering, even the ones who don't usually have the sprinklers going but I think everybody is trying to prevent grass from getting tool dried out," said Lynn Abramic.

Concerned that residents might be watering too much, the village is urging people to conserve as much as possible.

"What we're suggesting is people apply the rule of thumb of one inch of water to irrigate your lawn," said Dale Schepers, public works director, Tinley Park. "It might go dormant, brown, that sort of thing."

In addition to Monday's heat, the National Weather Service says winds in some parts of the Chicago area could get as high as 45 or 50 mph.

The combination means double trouble.

Workers at one business on North Avenue Beach, Sun and Moon Beach and Yoga, told ABC7 the winds would force them to shut down early Monday.

"For the most part, myself and all the other vendors down here, we're going to close down just because it's too windy. Everybody's talking about the heat, but we're going to have 20 to 40 mile-an-hour winds down here. It's hard to do anything in a sandstorm," said Eric Semyck.

"It is really hot. I just walked here about half a mile, and I'm already sweating," beachgoes Jamie Meisel said.

"I grew up in Chicago. So, we usually have these days during the summer," said Lauren Topol, who was also at the beach. " Probably jump in the lake a little bit, cool off."

"I am shocked and a little bit scared, but I'm sure I will drink lots and lots of water," beachgoer Alison Carpenter said.

Chicago-area residents are advised to stay hydrated and cool during the heat wave this week.

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