Triple-digit East Bay heat causes problems for commuters, workers, and schools

Thursday, August 15, 2019
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In the East Bay, triple-digit temperatures are delaying the start of some schools, forcing workers to take precautions, and apparently making for many uncomfortable BART rides.

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- Highs from Pleasant Hill to Walnut Creek to Pittsburg are topping 100 degrees, delaying the start of school for some kids, forcing workers to take precautions, and apparently making for a hot ride for some BART passengers.

"It's going to be 103 out here today," said Pittsburg resident Penny Luke.

She is pretty close, give or take a few degrees. That's why her niece and every other student at Pittsburg's Highlands Elementary School is staying home on what should be the first day of school.

RELATED: 100-degree heat to scorch Bay Area through Friday

"They said that they are not having school until Monday because the air conditioning is not working yet" she said.

Penny got a phone call alerting her yesterday. Jose Flores missed his message and brought his kids to school anyway.

"I just walked in and the teacher let me know personally that the A/C was not working."

Pittsburg Unified Superintendent, Dr. Janet Schulze, sent out an e-mail to parents yesterday.

"I am hoping we can start school on Monday, but I cannot give you a firm date until we have confidence that the work is completed and the air is functioning," the e-mail says.

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Pittsburg Unified is spending $1.9 million to upgrade the air conditioning at Highlands Elementary.

The work was supposed to be finished before today.

Dr. Schulze promises to keep parents informed.

Meantime, you could tell how miserable it was by keeping an eye on people working outside, like a group of landscapers.

But, there were also problem inside. We got complaints about the heat on BART cars during the morning rush.

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"Very hot. I mean I had to take these off. The A/C never works," according to one passenger.

Others found the ride tolerable.

ABC7 News checked by taking a hand-held thermometer on a BART train from Pittsburg/Bay Point to Pleasant Hill and back. The hottest temperatures were on the platform at Pleasant Hill, where we measured a 101-degree reading.

But the A/C was working well on both trains, and inside the car it got as low as 83 degrees. However, that was at mid-morning with only a few riders onboard.

A crowded BART train during morning rush hour would probably feel much hotter.

Watch the latest AccuWeather forecast and take a look at recent weather stories and videos.