Work isn't over yet for disaster planners

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Local,DC,Alan Blinder

Emergency officials say they are prepared to deal with a blistering heat wave that's poised to stretch into another week and further threaten the homeless, elderly and medically fragile.

"The plan will probably be to extend the cooling center hours and continue to make adjustments when necessary and try to be proactive about doing so," said Robyn Johnson, a spokeswoman for the District's emergency management agency.

Johnson said city leaders were meeting Wednesday afternoon to plan ahead, and officials in Maryland and Virginia were also preparing for more challenging conditions.

Relentless heat wave
Since a derecho slammed the region on June 29, temperatures have been unforgiving.
June 29 -- 104 degrees
June 30 -- 97 degrees
July 1 -- 99 degrees
July 2 -- 95 degrees
July 3 -- 98 degrees
July 4 -- 99 degrees
July 5 -- 99 degrees*
July 6 -- 98 degrees*
July 7 -- 103 degrees*
July 8 -- 97 degrees*
July 9 -- 90 degrees*
*indicates forecasted higher temperature

Even though governments have scrambled to deploy resources, some say they're content to try to make it on their own.

"I stay under the shade, don't move, don't exercise and do what I can to absorb the breeze," said Paul, a homeless man who declined to give his last name and stood under a McPherson Square tree Wednesday. "Word [of government aid] doesn't really go around."

But Roger Washington, who plopped down on a bench in the same square, said that he took advantage of the city's shelters.

"I stayed in the cool air," he said. "You've got to go where they have food and air."

-- Alan Blinder and Kytja Weir

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Alan Blinder

Staff Reporter, D.C. City Hall
The Washington Examiner