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High temps cause closure of popular Chicago beach

Bryan Alaspa's picture

The North Avenue beach, located in downtown Chicago and right on Lake Michigan, had to be closed on Memorial Day due to the unseasonably high heat that hit the area.

The temps soared into the 90s on a day that normally would have had highs in the mid to upper 70s any other Spring. The Chicago area, still recovering from severe storms much of the holiday weekend and flooding threats in local rivers, found itself baking under high temps on Monday, while many headed to the beach to cool off. That caused problems later in the day and the closure of one of the most popular area beaches.

According to Chicago media, the authorities closed North Avenue Beach due to the heat at about 6 p.m. on Monday. This was after paramedics were called at about 5:30 p.m. to reports that people were collapsing all over the area, due to heat exhaustion and dehydration.

The result was that at least four people were taken to area hospitals suffering from heat-related illnesses. One man, an 18-year-old, was admitted to a local hospital and declared to be in a critical condition. He had collapsed from what doctors are calling heat exhaustion and found unresponsive by emergency medical teams.

The closing of the beach was not the first tactic that the city and emergency workers hoped for. At first, firefighters began trying to hose down beach-goers using a 2 ½ inch water line. However, more and more revelers began to collapse or complain of light-headedness and emergency officials were worried about getting overwhelmed and decided to shut down the beach.

The heat exhaustion was a problem throughout the area as a combination of cold and rain weariness combined with a holiday to cause people to head outside into the unseasonable heat. At various parades around the area more people complained of heat-related issues. Six people were sent to the hospital at a Memorial Day parade in south suburban Plainfield, Illinois and Lockport.

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