2015-07-22 / Front Page

Heat Wave Bakes Queens Residents

By Liz Goff
It was hell on earth this week, as the mercury soared over 90-degrees in Queens, as the city suffered its heat wave of the summer.

Temperatures reached a brutal 93 degrees in some parts of Queens on July 19 and a sweltering 92 degrees on July 23, sending residents racing to movie theaters, restaurants, malls and other air-conditioned spaces.

The soaring heat forced many Queens residents to stay indoors, where those with air conditioners blasted cool air, and others doused themselves with cold water, hoping for an end to the heat.

City officials said New Yorkers consumed an additional 1.5 billion gallons of water on the first day of the heat wave, and pleaded with residents to conserve electricity and utilize city cooling centers to beat the heat.

Officials at Elmhurst Hospital Center reported four patients with heat-related symptoms. Hospital officials turned two of their ‚Äúdecontamination trailers‚ÄĚ into treatment centers for people suffering from heat exhaustion, dehydration, and breathing problems, officials said.

A hospital spokesperson told the Gazette the trailers, which are designed for use in case of a biological terror attack, provide cool showers for overheated Queens residents, along with adequate space for treatment when temperatures soar over 90-degrees.

Fire officials reported an increase in 911 calls for help with heat related symptoms, but no heat-related deaths were reported in the borough during the recent hear wave.

A similar heat wave that lasted for two days in mid-June 2013 claimed the life of one Queens resident, officials said.

Queens residents who need help coping with the heat are urged to visit a city Cooling Center. For the location of the Cooling Center nearest to your home, visit www.nyc.gov/coolingenter , click on Cooling Center Finder and enter your address. The listing provides the address and hours of operation for a Cooling Center located near your home.

Queens residents who do not have access to the Internet are urged to call 311 for information on Cooling Centers in local neighborhoods.

Pet owners are also reminded to keep cats and dogs out of the sun for long periods of time during heat waves.

Animal activists said pets need additional, cool water and a well-ventilated place to rest when temperatures soar.

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