Coping with the extreme heat

July 18, 2008 3:07:51 PM PDT
People are coping with the dangerous heat in different ways. Heat Hotline Opens 8:30am to Midnight Friday 215-765-9040

All Philadelphia public schools will be closed today. There will be no summer school or summer programs. Parents may call the school district's hotline at 215-400-4636 or visit www.phila.k12.pa.us. First shift maintenance and custodial workers should still report as normal.

James McManaman sees the effect of the heat wave every time he looks out the window of his Center City store, Absolute Abstract.

He hands out cold towels to customers as they shop in his neighborhood.

"I rolled 120 this morning, usually it's around 30 or 40, because not everybody accepts one, but on a day like today, everybody wants one," McManaman said yesterday.

Whether you are strolling the streets or working hard, it was a rough day to be outside.

The best place to be is inside out of the sun.

The Philadelphia Senior Center helps older Philadelphians handle the heat by handing out free fans every year during heat waves.

"We decided to do it the first day, to put the fans right in the hands of the seniors so they had them for this heat wave," Kory Aversa of the Philadelphia Senior Center said.

Over in New Jersey, It was crazy Thursday afternoon at the Cooper Pool on Union Street in Trenton. That's where scores of kids were swimming, diving, and dunking; all of them having a ball keeping cool in the pool.

Across town some elderly residents were enjoying the air conditioning at the reading Senior Center where they're able to play games, work on projects and stay out of the heat.

There was only one senior braving the scorching temperatures on the porch outside: 77-year-old Henry Williams, who's originally from Florida.

"[It's] never too hot. 120, 115, we used to fry eggs on the street. I love hot weather," Williams said.

Michele Conley was one of hundreds taking a cool ride at Bucks County River Country in Point Pleasant. Folks there just planted themselves in tubes and let the Delaware River cool them off as they floated downstream.

"It cools me down and it makes me happy because I'm swimming in it and I don't have a pool at my house," Julia Oleksak of Richboro, Pa. said.

Camp counselor Scott Cella was with a group of kids from Northampton Township.

"To take a bunch of kids out for camp down the river is always an exciting time. It feels good to be in the cool water on a such a hot day," Cella said.

It wasn't the river, but the water was flowing at Agabiti Plaza in Trenton's Chambersburg section where kids were scampering through the spray of a large fountain and cooling off as the water cascaded down over them.

The sweltering sun is also making for a dangerously polluted atmosphere.

The Delaware Valley Air Quality Partnership issued an Ozone Action Day Thursday, and 'Code Red Ozone' is in Friday's forecast. This means even healthy people need to take it easy.

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