Triple-digit temps hit region

Heat-related illness occurs when the body becomes unable to properly cool itself

Temperatures climbed to triple digits on Wednesday afternoon as evidenced by the Oregon Fire Protection District's sign on W. Washington Street. The sign is located in the fire station's parking lot.

SAUK VALLEY – As the mercury neared triple digits and high humidity caused heat indexes to race upwards, some area schools and employers adjusted sports schedules to keep athletes safe.

The Village of Mt. Morris shared this statement from Northern Illinois Disposal that was issued to customers:

“Due to the heat index being over 110 degrees most of the week, starting Tuesday morning through the rest of the week we will be starting our drivers at 4 a.m. This is a reminder to get your cans out Tuesday evening for Wednesday morning pick up. If your cans are not out curb side by the time the trucks roll through Wednesday morning, they won’t return to pick them up until the following week.”

Rock Falls High School rescheduled its “Rocket Run” cross country event Tuesday and Wednesday and a home golf match with North Boone was rescheduled.

The Oregon School District postponed a golf match Tuesday and a JV soccer match in DeKalb because of the high temps. “Today’s JV soccer game at DeKalb has been postponed due to the excessive heat above the IHSA standard for play,” the district posted on its website.

Lee County Emergency Management shared this post from the National Weather Service on Wednesday: “O’Hare Airport has reached a temperature of 98°F. This breaks Chicago’s previous daily high temperature record for August 23rd of 97°F, which was established in 1947.”

The Whiteside County Health Department shared this advice: “Keep in mind: Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, they will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. Learn more at cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heattips.html.

Oregon School Superintedent Tom Mahoney issued this statement to parents and guardinans earlier in the week:

“As we gear up for the upcoming week, Ogle County superintendents have been in conversation throughout the day to plan for the extreme conditions. Our collective commitment to the well-being and safety of our students remains paramount. With this in mind, I am writing to inform you about the measures we are implementing to address the extreme heat wave forecasted in the upcoming days. Again, our primary concern is the safety and comfort of our students and staff members during these challenging weather conditions.

“Our facilities are largely equipped to handle the heat with few exceptions. Still, we plan to take the appropriate steps to minimize any potential risks. Here are some of the precautions we will be implementing:

Cooling Measures: We will maximize our air-conditioning systems to provide a cool and comfortable environment for both students and staff members.

Hydration: Students are encouraged to bring extra water, we will allow additional water breaks, and we will provide water on the bus rides homes throughout this week.

Heat Guidelines: Athletic staff have been briefed on IHSA heat guidelines and on recognizing signs of heat-related distress and how to respond promptly.

Schedule Adjustments: There is a possibility that schedule adjustments will be made. While we hope that does not occur, we hope all students, parents and community members understand that if necessary we will make schedule adjustments to limit outdoor activities during peak heat hours.

Communication: Our communication channels will be kept open to provide real-time updates on any changes or additional precautions. While we are making every effort to mitigate the impact of the extreme heat, your cooperation is crucial in ensuring the safety of all our students.

Transportation: If possible, we encourage parents to consider picking up their children from school during extreme heat days, especially those who are usually transported by school buses for extended periods.

Hydration and Attire: Please remind your child to stay well-hydrated and to dress in lightweight, breathable clothing. Sending a water bottle with your child is recommended.

Medical Conditions: If your child has any pre-existing medical conditions that could be exacerbated by high temperatures, please notify the school so that we can provide appropriate accommodations.

The National Weather Service issued these tips:

  • Heat-related illness occurs when the body becomes unable to properly cool itself and can directly cause illness (heat exhaustion and heat stroke) or exacerbate many preexisting conditions such as heart and respiratory illness.
  • The body normally removes excessive heat when sweat evaporates. However, high humidity keeps sweat from evaporating as quickly, making it harder for the body to cool itself. NWS is forecasting high humidity over the next several days along with high temperatures. This combination may require individuals to take additional precautions if they will be working or exercising outdoors or exposed to heat over a long period of time.
  • The NWS expects temperatures to remain high throughout the night. The lack of cooler weather at night increases the dangers posed by extreme heat for individuals without air conditioning as the body remains continually stressed attempting to regulate body temperature. Individuals without air conditioning should consider visiting a location with air conditioning such as a library or shopping mall as the reprieve from the heat, even for just a few hours a day, can significantly reduce heat-related illness. Additionally, cool showers or baths can help reduce body temperature.
  • Information on protecting yourself and others from extreme heat can be found by visiting: ready.gov/heat.
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Shaw Local News Network

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