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Death toll from heat wave rises to 11

Yeni Chesapeake Bay Retriever keeps active cool by retrieving tennis ball tossed inLake Michigan by his owner Kraig Kuchukian

Yeni, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever keeps active and cool by retrieving a tennis ball tossed into Lake Michigan by his owner Kraig Kuchukian Sunday afternoon. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: October 29, 2011 12:36AM



As the Chicago area cleaned up after another drenching storm, the death toll from last week’s heat wave continued to rise.

Autopsy reports released Sunday concluded that three more people died in part because of the extreme heat, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. Heat had been a factor in eight other deaths since Thursday.

The primary cause of death for South Side resident Sandra Rollins, who was in her 50s, was heart disease, but a secondary cause was heat stress, according to the medical examiner’s office. Rollins was found dead Saturday at her home in the 1700 block of E. 78th.

An Oak Lawn man, Dee Tribb, 88, of 9500 block of Campbell, also died Saturday of heart disease and heat stress. Archie Jones, 68, of 3900 block of W. Monroe, was the weekend’s third heat-related death. He died Saturday.

With temperatures in the mid-80s, the heat backed off a bit Sunday.

Rain, however, kept falling.

One day after a record thunderstorm hit the Chicago area, another storm Sunday morning prompted a flood warning and caused more problems in several suburbs, including two house fires in Naperville that the suburb’s fire department said were caused by lightning strikes. No one was hurt, but one fire caused an estimated $300,000 in damage; the other $200,000.

Sunday morning’s storm came about 24 hours after the early-Saturday storm that dropped 6.85 inches of rain at O’Hare Airport, making Saturday the wettest day on record in Chicago since 1871. The storm also pushed this month to the second wettest July in the city’s recorded history. After Sunday’s rain, the total rainfall increased to 9.04 inches this month.

The wettest July in was 1889, when 9.56 inches of rain fell on Chicago, according to a National Weather Service meteorologist.

Sunday’s storm prompted a flood warning and caused problems for several suburbs including Aurora and Naperville.

Sunday’s storm knocked out power to 33,000 ComEd customers, most of whom were in the west and south suburbs, according to ComEd spokeswoman Arlana Johnson.

“We have more than 300 crews out working in the field today” to get the power restored, Johnson said.

Meanwhile, in the city of Chicago, Fire Department media affairs spokesman Larry Langford said there had been no reports of flooded viaducts, or severe storm-related problems. Chicago Police also had no problems that were connected to the storm, according to police news affairs Officer Robert Perez.

Cooler temperatures are expected to move into the area this week. The high Monday is expected to reach 82 degrees.

Contributing, James Scalzitti



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