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Town of West Hartford Offers Tips, Cooling Options During Heatwave

Courtesy Town of West Hartford

A Heat Advisory is in effect for Wednesday, July 20, with a heatwave not expected to end until Sunday, July 24.

By Ronni Newton 

Martha and the Vandellas sang “Just like a heatwave … Heatwave … Burning in my heart … Heatwave …” back in 1963 (The more recent Glass Castles song “Heatwave” didn’t have lyrics that would work as well in this space) and while we are about to have the first heatwave of the 2022 season from Tuesday through Sunday, the Town of West Hartford doesn’t want anyone’s hearts to be adversely impacted.

Renée McCue, the town’s public relations specialist, said Tuesday – the first day this week that temperatures topped 90 degrees – that while the town doesn’t have official cooling centers established, the three library branches are places where residents can go to spend time in air conditioning.

The library branches are open during the following times:

  • Noah Webster Library: 20 South Main St. Open Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Faxon Branch Library: 1073 New Britain Ave. Open Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Wednesdays from 1-8 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Bishops Corner Branch Library: 15 Starkel Rd. Open Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.  10 a.m.-2 p.m., Tuesdays from 1-8 p.m., Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Westfarms is also a good place to beat the heat, McCue said. The shopping center is open daily from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m., and 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Sundays.

The National Weather Service forecast is for temperatures to be in the 90s, with high humidity, over through at least Sunday, with low temperatures not dipping below 70 degrees.

Splash pad at Fernridge Park. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

Splash pads are open daily from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. at Beachland Park and Fernridge Park, and from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. at Kennedy Park and Wolcott Park.

The schedule for outdoor pools at Beachland, Fernridge, and Kennedy parks can be found here.

The West Hartford Police Department posted the following tips on their Facebook page on Tuesday on how to stay safe during a heat advisory:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors.
  • Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.
  • Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside.
  • When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
  • Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when possible.
  • Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency! Call 9-1-1.

Courtesy Town of West Hartford

Gov. Ned Lamont Connecticut’s has activated Connecticut’s extreme hot weather protocol, which began at 8 a.m. Tuesday and runs through 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 24. The protocol is intended to protect the most vulnerable populations from potentially dangerous conditions, and coordinates the effects of agencies and municipalities through United Way 2-1-1 to distribute information about cooling centers.

“We’re about to experience our first heat wave of the year that over the next several days will bring very hot conditions, especially during the peak sunlight hours of the day,” Lamont said in a statement. “I strongly urge anyone who needs a place to cool off to call 2-1-1 to find their nearest available cooling center. Everyone should take the necessary precautions as the heat rises over the next several days. A few steps can greatly reduce heat-related issues, especially for the elderly, the very young, and people with respiratory ailments who are more susceptible to the effects of high temperatures.”

More information can also be found at 211ct.org.

Elevated levels of ozone are expected in the state, and may reach unhealthy levels for sensitive groups, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said in a news release Tuesday afternoon.

“Heading into the second day of our first summer heat wave, the stage will be set on Wednesday for ozone production along coastal Connecticut, extending from Bridgeport to Groton,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “Governor Lamont has activated Connecticut’s extreme hot weather protocol and DEEP advises everyone to take proper precautions to avoid strenuous outdoor activities, especially during high ozone events. The heat wave and high ozone levels may continue through the end of the week.”

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