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‘It’s going to feel like a sauna out there.’ Cooling centers open as heat and humidity smother Chicago

A heat advisory is in effect from noon until 7 p.m., with a heat index of up to 108 degrees possible, according to the National Weather Service.

People exercise on the Montrose Lakefront Track in Uptown Saturday morning.
A heat advisory is in effect Aug. 10, 2021. This file photo shows people exercising on the Montrose Lakefront Track in Uptown Saturday morning, July 18, 2020.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times file

Chicago opened six cooling centers Tuesday as dangerously high temperatures and smothering humidity could make it feel above 105 degrees.

A heat advisory is in effect from noon until 7 p.m., with a heat index of up to 108 degrees possible, according to the National Weather Service.

“Its going to feel like a sauna out there,” the weather service said, urging residents to limit their time outside and to drink plenty of water.

“We encourage residents to make an extra effort to check on your neighbors during extreme heat, especially if they are seniors, families with young people, people with special needs or living alone,” Rich Guidice, executive director of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications said at a news conference.

Temperatures were expected to climb to 93 degrees in the afternoon with humidity near 67%. At night, temperatures will dip into the low to middle 70s, with a chance of thunderstorms around 10 p.m., the weather service said.

The cooling facilities, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday, are:

  • Englewood Center, 1140 W. 79th St.
  • Garfield Center, 10 S. Kedzie Ave. King Center, 4314 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
  • North Area Center, 845 W. Wilson Ave. South Chicago Center, 8650 S. Commercial Ave.
  • Trina Davila Center, 4312 W. North Ave.

Visitors are required to wear a facemask while in the cooling areas. Free face coverings will be provided.

Residents can also cool themselves in one of the city’s 75 public libraries during normal hours of operation.

“Do not underestimate the health risks of heat and humidity, they are dangerous and in some cases can be deadly,” said Dr. Jennifer Seo, chief medical officer for the Chicago Department of Public Health.

“Stay safe and stay hydrated,” Guidice said.