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Temperatures fall short of record, but with no power, it’s still plenty hot

MerlHenders64 who lives 7800 Block South Coles was among 150 citizens without power South Shore neighborhood. As SKF Electrical Contracting

Merlin Henderson, 64, who lives in the 7800 Block of South Coles was among 150 citizens without power in the South Shore neighborhood. As a SKF Electrical Contracting lineman, works to restore power to the Henderson home. Wednesday, July 25, 2012. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: August 27, 2012 11:10AM



With temperatures in the 90s, Merlin Henderson was standing over a hot propane grill Wednesday afternoon, barbecuing chicken breasts.

Despite the sweltering heat, the retired police officer didn’t feel like he had much choice. His power had been out in his South Side home since a storm rolled through Tuesday morning. So it was either grill all the meat in his refrigerator or watch it spoil.

“I’m inviting a bunch of people over. I’m gonna feed the whole neighborhood,” he said with a smile.

Henderson, 64, was one of more than 1,000 Chicago residents still without power Wednesday after a strong thunderstorm rolled through Tuesday morning.

“No air-conditioning, no computers, no iPod,” he said. “My wife and kids can’t stand it. They decided to go to the movies this afternoon.”

Temperatures at O’Hare Airport reached 99 degrees Wednesday, two degrees short of the record for the date, 101 set in 1940. Temperatures at Midway Airport did hit 101 degrees on Wednesday.

Some North Shore residents also had fewer options to cool off.

In Evanston, all beaches (except the dog beach) were closed Wednesday due to high levels of E. coli bacteria. Check cityofevanston.org for the latest updates on Evanston beach closures.

In Chicago, ComEd dispatched repairmen to restore power. The utility also contracted an electrical repair company from northern Michigan to handle some of the work, including Henderson’s home, which had electricity again shortly before 4 p.m.



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