Triple-digit heat has descended on New York City — with temperature indices reaching over 105 degrees, the city has issued an excessive heat warning advisory from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.
“So the next few days are not just your regular hot August summer day in New York. It will be extremely dangerously hot, and people need to take precautions to stay cool,” said John Scrivani, commissioner of the city’s Office of Emergency Management, in a press conference Tuesday.
The city has opened cooling centers around the five boroughs — you can find them on this map or by calling 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115). Pools will also have extended hours.
This year, 32 of the cooling centers are pet-friendly, Scrivani said, and every Petco store in the city will be open to New Yorkers with pets who need to cool off. People should try to check on their vulnerable neighbors as well, Scrivani said.
The OEM recommends staying inside an air-conditioned environment during the day and to drink plenty of water. People should avoid strenuous activity outdoors and kids, adults and people with lung disease should limit their time outside.
The signs of heat-related illness include dry skin, cold and clammy skin, nausea, vomiting, trouble breathing, rapid heartbeat or dizziness, said Torian Easterling, First Deputy Commissioner and Chief Equity Officer of the city’s Department of Health. Anyone experiencing those symptoms should call 911.
(1/3) An Excessive Heat Warning will be in effect for NYC today from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Heat indices of 105 degrees are expected. As a reminder, cooling centers are open today (Wednesday, 8/11) to help New Yorkers #beattheheat. pic.twitter.com/TEG82MMfnX
— NYC Emergency Management (@nycemergencymgt) August 11, 2021
The city is coordinating with Con Edison and PSEG Long Island to monitor the electric system, Scrivani said, but residents should turn their air conditioners to higher settings, and wait to use heavy appliances like dishwashers and washer and dryers until the early morning or late evening when the temperatures cool down to reduce strain on the power grid.
“This is a multi-day screaming hot event, and it’s going to tax the electric” grid, he said.
There’s also a chance of possible heavy rain and thunderstorms this week, and the city has activated a flash flood emergency plan “in anticipation of intermittent heavy rain and thunderstorms throughout Friday.”