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Capital Region braces for ‘dangerous’ heat levels

Capital Region braces for ‘dangerous’ heat levels

Temperatures expected to peak in the mid-90s
Capital Region braces for ‘dangerous’ heat levels
Schenectady firefighters Brian Flynn, left, and Capt. Anthonhy Klouse deploy the awning on the Special Operations trailer Friday
Photographer: Peter Barber

SCHENECTADY — Dangerous levels of heat will grip the region this weekend. 

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for Saturday, when temperatures are expected to peak in the mid-90s. 

The advisory will be in effect for much of the Capital Region until 8 p.m. 

Small children and senior citizens who are particularly vulnerable to heat stroke are urged to stay out of the sun, stay hydrated and find an air-conditioned location. 

All four of the city’s of Schenectady’s public pools will be open from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and the pool at Central Park will remain open Sunday.

Splash pads at Tribute and Woodlawn parks will also be open to relief-seeking residents. 

The county is encouraging residents to visit a Schenectady County Library branch to cool off, including the Woodlawn, Central, Mont Pleasant and Hamilton Hill branches, as well as those in Glenville, Scotia, Niskayuna and Rotterdam.

Bethesda House, a homeless shelter in downtown Schenectady, will also host a cooling station. 

New Yorkers can also take advantage of swimming facilities at state parks with extended hours, including Saratoga Spa State Park and Moreau Lakes. 

People are urged to check in on elderly neighbors or those with special needs. 

“Residents are encouraged to take precautions protecting themselves and others, such as staying hydrated, checking on elderly neighbors, and to be able to recognize the signs of heat-related illnesses," said city Mayor Gary McCarthy.

The city Fire Department is prepared for the potential impacts on residents and firefighters.

Vehicles have been stocked with coolers and ice, and personnel have been briefed on staying properly hydrated.

“Exerting energy quickly can take its toll,” Assistant Chief Dan Mareno.

In the event of a prolonged incident, the department has readied a specialized trailer equipped with an air-conditioning unit, refrigerator and medical supplies to treat heat-related illnesses.

If necessary, the department also has an arrangement with the Capital District Transport Authority to deploy buses to the scene of an emergency to temporarily house firefighters or displaced people. 

Personnel have also been briefed on staying properly hydrated, and mutual aid partners have been notified they may need to respond quicker to incidents.

“It’s an extra challenge,” Mareno said. “But [firefighters] are up to the task.”

Temperatures are expected to cool down late Sunday.

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