Heat wave linked to 3 deaths in Chicago

·2 min read
Heat wave linked to 3 deaths in Chicago

An uncommon heat wave in May took place across the Midwest last week, ending in deadly consequence's for the region's largest hub.

North of downtown Chicago is home to the James Sneider apartments, where police say three women were found unresponsive May 14 at the facility for senior living and those with disabilities.

They were pronounced dead in the midst of a heat wave that had AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures approaching 100 degrees F. The heat was one of the likely main factors in the womens' condition. The three women were ages 67, 75 and approximately 70.

The James Sneider apartments in northern Chicago, Illinois, were home to three deaths linked to a massive May heat wave in the region.

"It worries me a lot," Chicago resident Sylvanus Udoh told AccuWeather's Emmy Victor. "With the elder people here ... some of them are disabled."

City of Chicago Alderwoman Maria Hadden stated that residents in the apartments were "concerned" with the level of heat in the building, and had been making calls to management throughout the week leading up to the fatal Saturday.

"They had requested the air conditioning be turned on, but (they) weren't getting any positive responses from management," Hadden told Victor. "They were being told to turn on fans in their unit."

In response, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office released a statement, announcing in part that "the investigation into the cause of death remains ongoing."

"We will continue taking the necessary measures to make sure the residents of the buildings are safe, and we will make sure that building management owns responsibility for the care of its residents," the office stated.

Currently, the city has a heating ordinance that requires rental residences to remain at 68 degrees Fahrenheit or above between Sept. 15 and June 1, making way for the coldest months of the year. However, there is currently no ordinance to deal with the opposite end of the temperature spectrum.


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"We have minimum temperatures for cold times, we need to consider maximum temperatures," Hadden stated.

Previous AccuWeather reporting shows that heat is the most deadly weather-related incident to occur in the United States, linked to such maladies as hyperthermia, dehydration, cold shock and exposure to bacteria.

The alderwoman went on to say that it's time to prevent further tragedy, particularly for the city's "most vulnerable" residents such as the elderly.

"Oftentimes folks, especially if they're renting, might feel they can be subject to retaliation ... if they they complain too much to management, that could jeopardize their housing," Hadden said. "We just need residents to know that the city's here to protect their rights and stand up for them."

Reporting by Emmy Victor

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