The temperatures are high, but the usage of community cooling centers is low.
Thatís not necessarily a bad thing, as it could mean folks without an air-conditioned haven are taking refuge in other places, said Lake County Emergency Management Specialist Michael Jackson Sr. Those locales include shopping malls, movie theaters or bars.
Jackson made a few phones calls on Thursday and found no one was utilizing cooling centers in locales including Antioch, Fremont Township, Highland Park and Wauconda.
ďItís more about the support, to have sites available for those to use versus not having them at all,Ē Jackson said.
Jackson said the cooling centers will continue to be open, even if no one is there to use them, just in case.
The story was the same elsewhere. The Salvation Army Community Center in Des Plaines had no takers Thursday when a photographer visited its cooling center.
And Hoffman Estates Park District Executive Director Dean Bostrom said no one was using the cooling center at the districtís main offices. But Bostrom guessed more people than usual were hanging out in the seats near the districtís ice rink.
ďThey can still come here and cool down,Ē he said.
Thunderstorms earlier in the month caused power outages across the Northwest suburbs and in Lake County. However, despite the strain from air conditioners, ComEd has reported few heat-related outages, meaning fans and air conditioners work, which may be a reason for empty cooling centers, Bostrom said.
The Prospect Heights Park Districtís Gary Morava Recreation Center had a preschool room reserved for the public as a cooling center. That was also empty on Thursday.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.