Health care professionals and emergency officials are keeping a close eye on the heat. The heatwave that has descended across the area has prompted several locations to offer their facilities as daytime cooling centers. About one-thousand people suffered heat related deaths in Illinois over the past 15 years.
The United Way's Carrie Zukoski says these cooling centers should not be mistaken for overnight lodging.
She says there are just over 50 cooling centers available in Southwest Illinois. About 8 are in Alton and East Alton, with others in Bethalto, Edwardsville, Wood River, and Brighton. In Alton, the mall, Senior Services Plus and Salvation Army have been pressed into use, as has the Department of Human Services in East Alton. Alton Police will provide emergency transportation to these locations. To find your closest cooling center, dial 2-1-1 from any land-line phone, or 1-800-427-4626.