By Bill McAuliffe
By the end of the century, the Twin Cities area could see eight times as many deaths annually due to extreme heat as it does now, according to a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
The projected increase — from about 14 per year to 121 by century’s end — would be among the steepest experienced by 40 major metro areas. The authors said that is partly because extremely oppressive heat waves would be more of a shock to northern residents’ systems.
But local officials said the area has already been preparing for extreme heat, developing a plan that involves cooling centers, monitoring of vulnerable residents and a restriction from shutting off electricity to people who haven’t paid their bills. “Minneapolis has a very thorough and very robust plan,” said Pam Blixt, preparedness director for the city health department.