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Excessive Heat Warning as Temperatures Hit 100

By Tom Liddy | July 23, 2011 11:10am | Updated on July 23, 2011 7:02pm
Temperatures were expected to hit 100 Saturday as the heat wave enters its eighth day.
Temperatures were expected to hit 100 Saturday as the heat wave enters its eighth day.
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MANHATTAN — The scorched Apple can't get any relief.

An excessive heat warning was issued Saturday as temperatures from a stifling heat wave - now in its third day - topped out at 100 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

The warning, in effect until 8 p.m., comes just a day after the mercury soared to 104 degrees, breaking a record set in 1957.  And the temperature came just shy of breaking the all-time record of 106.

To help New Yorkers beat the heat, the city is keeping its 54 pools open until 8 p.m. Saturday and leaving sprinklers at playgrounds on until 9 p.m.

Some 295 cooling centers were also open Saturday, although less may be open on Sunday.  The locations of cooling centers can be found by calling 311.

Under the sweltering conditions, the weather service advises that people should limit strenuous activities to the morning and evening, wear light weight clothing and drink plenty of fluids.

Temperatures were expected to feel up to 110 degrees with the heat index, according to the NWS.

Maya Elias, 17, of the Upper West Side, said that she "has never spent a summer in New York City where it has been this hot outside.

"This weather makes me feel like I'm walking out of a spin class all the time," she added, in Central Park, where people clutched water bottles.

City officials encouraged residents to check in on relatives and neighbors, especially those with heart disease, diabetes and other chronic health conditions.

But they warned people not to open fire hydrants illegally because it could cause a dangerous drop in water pressure.

The brutal heat severely taxed Con Ed's electric system Friday, with power usage hitting a new record of 13,182 megawatts.

As a result of the demand, the company reduced voltage to roughly 37,000 customers in Central and East Harlem between 147th and 110th Streets, and Seventh Avenue to the East River.

The utility said in a statement that it reduced the voltage "as a precaution to protect equipment and maintain service as company crews work to repair the problems."

There were also scattered outages around Manhattan. Most of the power losses citywide were in Queens and Brooklyn, with nearly 66,000 customers losing power at the peak.

However, because of the slightly cooler temperatures Saturday, the load on the system was significantly less, at about 11,600 megawatts.

The sweltering temperatures also came as the city's waterways and some of its beaches were reeling from the effects of sewage being released into the Hudson River in the wake of a fire at the North River Wastewater Treatment plant.

Officials had managed to stop the unchecked flow of sewage - some 130 million gallons a day - Friday night. But the sludge had been pouring into the waterway since the four-alarm fire at the facility Wednesday.

Because of the release, the DEP has ordered residents to stay out of the Hudson, East and Harlem rivers and advised people to stay out of the water at four beaches in Staten Island and Brooklyn.

The advisories remained in effect Saturday, despite the fact that elevated levels of bacteria were not detected in the water during tests Friday.

"When we feel it is safe, we will lift the advisory," said Dr. Thomas Farley, the city's health commissioner.