The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

August 27, 2013

Minnesota steams under excessive heat warning

MINNEAPOLIS — Students have returned to school in Minneapolis amid some of the most sweltering conditions of the summer.

Minneapolis public schools have 18 buildings that lack air conditioning and another 11 with only limited cooling, so schools are providing water to help keep students and staff cool and hydrated. Parents were advised to dress their kids in light clothing, while staffers are watching for any symptoms of heat-related illness.

But Ken Mowll of Minneapolis held his sixth- and seventh-graders home from Sanford Middle School.

“Most of their friends did go to school. I can’t imagine most kids are going to learn anything, and the poor teachers, they’re the ones who are going to have to work through this,” Mowll told the Star Tribune. “The first day of school is not a whole lot of learning anyway.”

St. Paul Public Schools canceled strenuous activities at sports practices Monday afternoon and evening, and postponed afternoon and evening games.

In the Mankato area, the high temp hit 95 Monday, with an equal high temp forecast for today. The National Weather Service declared an excessive heat warning which is set to expire midnight today, and said heat index levels could climb as high as 110.

The Twin Cities set a record high of 97 degrees at 3:12 p.m. Monday, the National Weather Service in Chanhassen said. That breaks the old record of 94 set in 1948. The heat and humidity made it feel like 105.

Alexandria, in western Minnesota, also set a record of 94. The old record of 93 was set in 1976.

The southern third of Minnesota remains under an excessive heat warning through this evening, while a heat advisory is out for much of central Minnesota through this evening.

Red Wing also hit 97, and even northern Minnesota was sweltering, with Grand Rapids reporting 91 and Duluth 89.

Misting stations are operating at the Minnesota State Fair, where around 90 people had been treated for heat-related illnesses through Sunday.

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