DNC delegates, protesters and workers brave punishing heat

    With the temperature passing 90 degrees, the city has reported that two police officers and two individuals have been treated for heat related issues. Heat exhaustion is a risk in this weather, Police Commissioner Richard Ross acknowledged late Tuesday afternoon. 

     “It was a tough, tough day the last two days in particular, and it’s not exactly cool out there now,” said Ross. “So we will continue to make sure that everyone involved tries to stay as hydrated as possible.”

    Planning for this, the city purchased four tractor trailer loads worth of refrigerated water that have been directed around the convention venue, according to Samantha Phillips, director of emergency management for Philadelphia.

    “110,000 bottles of water have been distributed,” said Phillips. “And that includes a couple of public drops for demonstrators and first responders.”

    More is on the way.

    Phillips also says a SEPTA train and a few other vehicles have been stationed near the venue to provide air conditioning relief to first responders, officers and fire fighters. 

    Meanwhile, at the Wells Fargo Center, generators surrounding the stadium have been pumping in additional air conditioning to keep attendees cool.

    Midday Tuesday, delegates like Elena McCullough from Tampa were eager to get inside.

    “The heat here is bad. It feels a lot hotter than it does in Florida,” she said. “There is no cool breeze coming through.”

    Others weren’t as fazed.

    “Actually, I’m used to the heat, I was born in July,” said Charles Bowie, who circled the stadium for hours Tuesday, keeping it clean.

    He said he’s been drinking a lot of water and taking regular breaks in a nearby tent.

    Across the street in FDR Park, activists like Beth Leach said she’s not letting the heat distract her from the politics, but she knows it can have an impact.

    “I do get heat stroke, it has happened before,” she said. “I know just to stay out of the sun with my big floppy brimmed hat and sunblock.”

    Wayne Styles, a Bernie Sanders supporter from Ohio who traveled many blocks in his wheel chair to the park, was pleased to find one of the two tents the city rigged with a fan spraying out mist.

    “It’s very, very nice. It’s cool,” he said.

    The city thinks the heat has had a dampening effect on the number of protesters marching down to the stadium. Meanwhile on Monday, the convention host committee announced it was canceling sending its volunteer street ambassadors out for the rest of the week because of the weather.

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