ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – The St. Louis Emergency Operations Center is close to declaring a heat emergency.
The Ops-center assures the public that they have the personnel and resources to handle the current situation, but St. Louis Health Director Pam Walker tells KMOX, “We will go in to full emergency mode if needed.”
“If we start seeing a lot of heat illnesses, particularly deaths, we would not hesitate,” Walker said. “We would rather over-react than under-react.”
The city is taking the excessive heat warnings from the National Weather Service seriously. Mayor Francis Slay walked door-to-door in the 4400 block of 39th Street on the South side Sunday telling residents to protect themselves and their neighbors.
“This is an excellent time to be a good neighbor,” added Mayor Slay. “Make sure everyone, especially children, seniors, and pets are keeping cool. If you know of individual who has an air conditioner but you cannot hear it running, please encourage them to turn it on.”
The oppressive heat is already being blamed for nine suspected heat-related deaths in the Kansas City area, and has sicken more than 130 in St. Louis this weekend alone.
While these extremely hot temperatures can be dangerous for all individuals, this week’s prolonged excessive heat can fatal to seniors and individuals with underlying medical problems.
Mayor Slay says if you start to feel ill for any reason do not hesitate to call 911. If you need energy assistance call the United Way at 1-800-427-4626 or at 211 from a land line. There are also a list of cooling centers locations online.
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