Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Storms offer respite from summer heat

By Erica Solvig, esolvig@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Air conditioners were in short supply Monday as Cincinnatians struggled to keep cool and officials issued heat and smog alerts.

        But at 3 p.m. Monday, the smog alert was canceled by the Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services because conditions today — highs in the low 80s and possible storms — indicated ozone would be in the moderate range.

        Sunday's sticky weather continued into Monday as temperatures reached the mid-90s, and the heat index fluctuated between 102 and 106 degrees. The National Weather Service issued an excessive-heat warning, but relief for the Tristate could come today in the form of a cool front and possible rain.

        City officials Monday encouraged people to drink nonalcoholic, noncaffeinated beverages; wear light clothing; and stay indoors. The city's cool centers were open so people could spend the day in air conditioning.

        “A couple of years ago, some of the elderly were afraid that they would not be able to pay the bills; so they didn't use the air conditioning,” said Cincinnati Health Commissioner Malcolm Adcock. “But now is not the time to not use the air if you have it.”

        Air conditioners are one of the top requests at social service organizations. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul downtown has distributed about 300 fans and air conditioners this summer, but still has a waiting list of about 20 people.


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