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Milwaukee leaders urge residents to be aware of safety measures, cooling spots

Posted at 6:05 PM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-18 08:02:19-04

Extreme heat and humidity that’s expected to move into southeastern Wisconsin over the next few days has Milwaukee leaders urging residents to be aware of safety measures and cooling spots.

Some of the information shared by officials include the basics such as remembering to stay hydrated, wear loose and light clothing and limit sun exposure. Some Milwaukee programs are offering free places to cool off during the dangerous temperatures.

With heat indexes expected to climb as high as 110 degrees, nothing beats running through cold water for Sanaa Booker.

“The water in there is cold but it’s super refreshing,” she said.

When temperatures climb above 85 degrees, Milwaukee Water Works teams up with Milwaukee Public Schools at four locations across the city by turning on hydrants to power industrial-sized sprinklers at local parks and schools like Ben Franklin School on W. Nash.

Locations open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.:
- Ben Franklin School - 2308 W. Nash
- Carmen Playfield - 7320 W. Carmen
- Franklin Square - 2643 N. 13th
- Green Bay 3818 N. 8th

“I’m thankful for it because every school don’t have this type of stuff,” said Jahkil Moore.

For those even younger, half a dozen free wading pools across Milwaukee might be a better choice. Calvin La Haye and his grandpa David went to Enderis Park Wednesday morning to cool off.

Locations open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.:
- Burnham 1755 S. 32nd
- Enderis - 2938 N. 72nd
- Holt - 1716 W. Holt
- Merrill Park - 461 N. 35th
- Modrzejewski - 1020 W. Cleveland
- Ohio - 974 W. Holt

“We’re not used to (the heat), especially for this long period of time,” David said.

While it’s all fun and games in the water, Mayor Tom Barrett wants people to take the extreme heat seriously, especially parents.

“This is the time of year where tragically we read about people leaving their children in cars,” Barrett said. “Please do not leave your children in cars unattended.”

For those who don’t want to get wet, public libraries offer a nice reprieve for Larry Bledsoe.

“Just trying to stay cool, stay cool, beat the heat,” Bledsoe said.

The Milwaukee Area Metropolitan Heat Task Force conducted a survey in 30 Milwaukee neighborhoods and they found most people have some form of air conditioning in their home, but for extreme heat, the task force suggests focusing on cooling just a portion of your home.

“Block off certain parts of your home to maximize the cooling effects of those and then utilizing things such as cool showers, cool wash cloths,” said Dr. Nick Tomaro.