Friday, April 25, 2014

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New Yorkers Ready To Sweat It Out Again

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With temperatures soaring over the next few days New Yorkers will be looking for some relief from the heat.

All of the city's 55 pools are now open and free.

The pools welcome visitors from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

The city's beaches are also open daily with lifeguards on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Beachgoers are reminded to only swim in an area with a lifeguard and watch for closed sections marked with signs and or red flags.

There are also plenty of sprinklers and playgrounds around the five boroughs to keep the kids cool and happy.

Officials warned people looking to cool off to think twice before popping open a fire hydrant.

The Department of Environmental Protection is deploying mobile command centers to respond to complaints of opened fire hydrants.

They said the water pressure from an illegally-opened hydrant can cause serious problems.

"If you are in a place where you wanna open a fire hydrant, don't do it illegally, don't open it," said Carter Strickland, the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection. "It's dangerous. It can come out at 1,000 gallons per minute. It's a tremendous force of water. It can injure kids, cars have an issue and it can really harm water pressure which hurts the ability of the fire department to fight fires."

Fire hydrants can be opened legally by getting a city-approved spray cap at local firehouses.

For those with no access to air conditioning, cooling centers are open throughout the city to help deal with the heat.

On Staten Island, seniors who do not have air conditioning took refuge at the Todt Hill Friendship Club.

They were also able to play games, eat, and socialize.

"I'm very happy to be here because it's nice and cool, and at home I would be very warm because I don't have any air conditioning," said one senior. "And I'm having lunch here and I'm with all my friends."

For more information on cooling centers, call 311 or visit nyc.gov/oem.

Qualified residents can also apply for assistance with purchasing air conditioners.

The state set aside $3 million dollars in federal grant money for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP.

Under the program low income New Yorkers whose health could be at risk because of the weather can apply for the A/Cs.

In order to qualify, a family of four must have a total yearly income of less than $50,000 and at least one household member who has been diagnosed with a chronic or acute medical condition that can get worse due to the heat.

A doctor's note recommending you have an air-conditioner is also required.

For more information, visit https://www.mybenefits.ny.gov/.

As a precaution, New Yorkers are urged to wear light colored clothing and stay hydrated.

Also check on elderly neighbors and relatives.. and make sure your pets are taken care of.

For more information on pools, beaches , parks, and cooling centers, visit nyc.gov.

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