Neighbors helping neighbors deal with the heat

Neighbors helping neighbors

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With the temperatures in Tucson predicted to be from 106 to 110 degrees over the next week or so, the folks in Tucson Estates West of Tucson are making sure everyone is taking care of each other.

It’s especially important now because so many houses are empty as they normally are when the snowbirds pack up for cooler climates in the hot summer months.

Excessive heat warnings are in effect and the older folks are some of the most vulnerable to high temperatures.

Nori Markowski is the coordinator of Neighbors helping Neighbors in the retirement park.

There are about 100 people signed up for the program and about 65 volunteers, however, many are gone for the summer.

Still, it’s an important time to keep in touch.

A 90 year old woman lost her electricity for several hours this morning when the temperatures reached 90+ degrees by 7:00 a.m.

She was notified by the utility company 24 hours in advance about the shutdown, so rather than suffer the heat, she called Markowski.

“Will they call when there’s an issue or will they just things go and think, I’ll be alright,” she said. “Some people don’t want to be bothered of don’t want to bother anybody.”

That’s why she drops in on neighbors like Pat Courtright, who is wheelchair bound.

“It’s a big problem for me because I’ve had a spinal cord injury and my thermostat is not very good,” she said. “I can’t handle really hot temperatures.”

Markowski thinks they’ve saved a few lives over the years by being a bit bothersome and checking up on folks.

“There are a lot of vulnerable,” she said. “Just to find that couple of them that we need to check up on on a regular basis to make sure they’ve okay.”

And that’s what Neighbors helping Neighbors is all about.

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