Virginia McClelland sat in the shade outside Babcock Place on a windy Monday afternoon as the temperature rose above 90 degrees, Lawrence’s hottest day in 2011.
Monday’s distinction may end today with 93 degrees in the forecast, according to the National Weather Service.
And apartment residents at Babcock Place, 1700 Mass., aren’t expected to have air conditioning until Wednesday at the earliest.
McClelland said the warmer temperatures don’t bother her much because she’s usually cold, but it seemed to be the talk of the building on Monday.
“Everybody’s been hollering, ‘it’s hot,’” said McClelland, who has lived in the Lawrence Douglas County Housing Authority apartment building for about a year.
The housing authority provides subsidized housing to elderly and low-income people.
Executive Director Shannon Oury said the building recently had a new chiller and boiler system installed as part of a energy performance contract as a way to make the building more energy-efficient. But it will take 48 hours for the water in the pipes to cool.
Oury said they had the heat on in the building last week when temperatures were in the 40s, and they appeared to be at the mercy of fluctuating Kansas temperatures.
Oury said Babcock staff members did go door-to-door Monday trying to encourage residents to turn on the fan systems in their rooms and open balcony windows to get increased air flow.
Housing authority officials were also working with the new system’s contractor Monday.
Belinda Rehmer, a Lawrence Memorial Hospital spokeswoman, said Monday evening the LMH emergency department didn’t have to handle any heat-related patients in Lawrence during the day.
Jacquie Higuera, a Babcock resident for more than a year, left her apartment late Monday afternoon to seek the comfort of air conditioning at her daughter’s house. Higuera said she didn’t remember hot temperatures approaching as abruptly last year.
“The weather’s very unpredictable,” she said.
McClelland said while several residents were complaining she was trying to stay positive.
“We’ll get some cold water,” McClelland said, “and put our feet in it.”