ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) - St. Louis health officials are urging everyone to check on the areas most vulnerable and make sure they have somewhere cool to go this week when temperatures break the 100 degree barrier.
St. Louis City Health Director Pamela Walker fears what a string of triple digit heat might mean for St. Louis.
"Last year we had 8 deaths and it wasn't that hot of a summer," said Walker.
So she is reminding everyone to reduce their outdoor physical activity to the early morning or evening hours.
She also wants resident to use their air conditioners. Ameren Missouri says there are a number of programs in place to help customers pay bills.
Ameren communications executive Kent Martin says running a window unit costs about $1 a day. Even if it only cools one room it can be a safe place to go.
The company's vice president of energy delivery predicts there will be spot power outages because of the heavy demand but crews are ready to restore power.
"People will be working on standby ready to go so we can get power restored as soon as possible," said David Wakeman.
The heat was likely a contributing factor to at least two area water main breaks. One flooded a church on Chambers. The other buckled Reavis Barracks Rd. just east of Union.
Crews relied on water and Gatorade to help them get the work done.
"Watch yourself for signs of heatstroke or heat exhaustion, "said Walker. She said dizziness or headaches are warning signs and if you stop sweating then that`s an urgent sign you need help.
"Get in the air conditioning and get some water in yourself real fast," Walker said.
Helpful Cooling Tips
- Check on neighbors, young children, those without air conditioning, people with medical conditions and the elderly.
- If you do not have an air conditioner, go to an air conditioned place during the warmest times of the day.
- Drink plenty water. Avoid drinks that contain caffeine. Avoid alcohol or large amounts of sugar. Never wait until you are thirsty to drink.
- Keep shades, curtains and blinds closed during the day.