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