For mil­lions left with­out air con­di­tion­ing, heat is next big threat

Toronto Star - - NEWS -

It’s ar­guably the worst tim­ing for a mas­sive power out­age in South Florida. This year is on track to be Mi­ami’s warm­est on record. The month of July was the hottest the city has ever recorded. With­out air con­di­tion­ing, South Florida weather is op­pres­sive at best and down­right dan­ger­ous at worst.

But on Mon­day af­ter­noon, 6.1 mil­lion cus­tomers were with­out power in the wake of hur­ri­cane Irma, ac­cord­ing to the De­part­ment of En­ergy. By Wed­nes­day morn­ing, the num­ber of out­ages was down to 3.5 mil­lion — but still more than a third of the state.

The lack of power is by far the largest lin­ger­ing ef­fect of the storm, which is now long gone. The clouds have parted and the sun is back. So is the heat. With­out air con­di­tion­ing, South Florida is a sauna.

Al­though util­ity com­pa­nies are work­ing night and day to re­store power, mil­lions are still with­out elec­tric­ity and air con­di­tion­ing this week, as high tem­per­a­tures ap­proach 33 C. Overnight lows will be close to 26 C through the week­end.

On any other day, those tem­per­a­tures wouldn’t make head­lines. With­out elec­tric­ity, they’re of crit­i­cal con­cern, said Scott Sheri­dan, a pro­fes­sor of cli­ma­tol­ogy who stud­ies heat ill­ness at Kent State Univer­sity.

In lieu of air con­di­tion­ing, Sheri­dan rec­om­mends fre­quent cool baths and stay­ing hy­drated — as­sum­ing there is clean wa­ter avail­able. The Wash­ing­ton Post

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.