HEAT WAVE: Mayor declares heat emergency after four straight days of high temps

A boy on a bicycle cools off from the extreme heat from an opened fire hydrant in Brooklyn, New York
A boy on a bicycle cools off from the extreme heat from an opened fire hydrant in Brooklyn a few summers back.
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Breaking: it’s still hot — and the mayor has declared that it’s now an emergency.

After four days in a row of high temperatures, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City is facing a heat emergency with temperatures at LaGuardia Airport reaching a record 98 degrees. Due to the heatwave, the mayor stated that the city’s power system is experiencing strain, leading to outages across the city.

“Here’s the message to all New Yorkers: immediately, immediately reduce the use of electricity in your home or in your business,” said de Blasio. “We need to ensure that our electric supply is protected. We need to avoid any possible disruptions.”

From now through the morning of July 1, New Yorkers are being asked to reduce the use of electricity where they can by not running appliances that use high amounts of electricity, such as washing machines, dryers, and microwaves, and by turning off lights. If you can turn off your air conditioning, the mayor asks you do, but if you do need to have it on, run it at a warmer temperature.

There are currently localized outages in every borough, with one of the most major outages in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn. According to Emergency Management Department Commissioner John Scrivani, Con Edison is handing out dry ice at the corner of Nassau Avenue and Morgan Avenue, and an MTA bus is also parked at that location to serve as a cooling center.

“There are some other localized outages in each borough, but there are none as significant as the one in Williamsburg,” said Scrivani. “With the mayor’s message, we’re hoping that with the conservation of energy that we will not be dealing with any more significant outages.”

Scrivani reminded New Yorkers that to stay hydrated and not over-exert themselves if they need to go outside, but to stay inside whenever possible, and to check in on their neighbors, particularly elderly neighbors and those in need. Beaches, pools and parks with water features are open for those who want to cool off.

“If you can wait until tomorrow to use certain appliances, wait. This is what we have to do for each other to get through this to make sure we do not have an outage, we especially do not want to see an outage in this kind of heat,” said de Blasio. “Let’s join together to do that, and that’s how we protect each other as we go through this challenge.”

For more information about cooling centers and ways to stay cool, call 311 or visit nyc.gov/beattheheat.

This story first appeared on AMNY.com.