Heat continues as concern increases

ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis city health director is worried this heat could turn deadly. So far, in St. Louis city and county there have been 40 heat related illnesses reported and 10 people have been hospitalized.

Health Director Pam Walker says because of the somewhat mild summer we've had, our bodies aren't used to the heat. This year we haven't had any heat related deaths, but Walker is worried that could change.

"Cool the bricks down and help cool the air conditioner down," said Mildred Patterson who we found watering down the bricks of her home.

She is doing all she can to keep her family cool in their two story brick house oven.

"I watered the front down to kind of cool the porch down," said Patterson.

Walker says several days into a heat event like this one she starts to get nervous.

"By day three or four we start seeing deaths so we are at a high level of concern about that right now," said Walker.

She says that's due to the lack of relief at night, some residents living without AC or just not turning it on. Patterson says they do have two window air conditioner units and several fans, but even those are getting hot.

"I just recently turned it off hopefully let it cool down and then you know help the motor to cool down," said Patterson.

"These window units are really fighting this humidity and some of them are working full blast and still only cooling down to 82 degrees," said Walker.

These men all have AC, but choose during the day to find some relief outside.

"They are just playing dominos and there's a cool breeze that blows through here," said Jerome Hill.

Still, the heat has them taking constant water breaks to keep cool. Hill says in his two story brick house, he also relies on window AC units that sort of work.

"It's hard to keep this house cool, but it's hard as hell in the winter to keep it hot," said Hill.

Walker says Sunday they saw a spike in asthma emergency room visits. There were 43 cases reported in the city, normally there's only 60 a week. She says that may be due to the high humidity.


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