Instead of watching Netflix and hugging the air conditioning unit, New Yorkers will have a new way to cool off during record summer temperatures.
As the heat soars into the 90s and even the 100s in July and August, coupled with high humidity, New York governor Andrew Cuomo has mandated the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to offer extended hours at swimming pools and other parks to help residents beat the heat.
“The beautiful beaches, pools, and other facilities in New York's park system are the perfect way to beat the heat on these extremely hot summer days,” governor Cuomo said in a statement.
“With temperatures spiking to over 90 degrees this week, I ordered these parks to extend their hours and allow more New Yorkers a chance for cool respite from this heat wave.”
The move includes longer opening hours for ocean beaches such as Jones Beach, and other pools and parks around the state.
Sprinklers will also be added to Gantry Plaza State Park in Queens and East River State Park in Brooklyn.
The so-called "heat dome" - a high pressure ridge that traps hot air for long periods of time - pushed temperatures to above 100 degrees fahrenheit over the weekend across a large section of southern and eastern states.
There have been six heat-related deaths reported in the US so far this year, including several people near Detroit over the course of three days.
The heat wave is expected to last until the end of this week.
The governor is dealing with the effect of a hot and dry year on farms, lawns and electric grids.
The high temperatures could push electricity demand to a record high, which could cause low voltage or outages. State agencies have been ordered to turn off lights and lower their use of air conditioning.
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a drought watch in July, for the first time since 2002.
The drought warning does not restrict people’s use of water but does encourage residents to fix leaking taps, water their lawns less frequently and sweep pavements rather than hose them down.
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