Philly region prepares for excessive heat starting Sunday

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Saturday, July 18, 2020
Region prepares for excessive heat starting Sunday
Second Street, street eating, is now open in Old City. Just in time for oppressive heat arriving in the area Sunday.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Old City section of Philadelphia has opened an outside dining area on 2nd Street, just in time for oppressive heat to arrive in the area beginning Sunday.

Resident Teniya Burch, who ate outside Friday night, said she won't be doing the same then.

"No. This is just today, that's it," said Burch.

It's another obstacle restaurants will have to overcome.

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Parts of Sansom Street in Center City look like a shell of their once vibrant selves these days, but one reliable pillar is fighting to stay strong, and stay open.

Nick Elmi, owner of Royal Boucherie, invited people to his shady second-floor garden or out on 2nd Street.

"We're resilient," said Elmi. "We're going to keep rolling with the punches and are going to do what we can do to survive."

But after the big rain last Friday, and heat coming, Elmi said it's time for indoor dining.

In Pennsylvania, this week, Gov. Wolf has allowed restaurants to open indoor dining with 25 percent; however, Philadelphia remains in a modified green phase where inside dining is prohibited.

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Pennsylvania is imposing broad new statewide restrictions on bars and restaurants and larger indoor gatherings, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Wednesday.

"When you have packed flights, open casinos and now gyms opening, but for some reason, we can't operate at 25 percent capacity in Philadelphia, It's kind of a tough pill to swallow," Elmi said.

Just about every area county, including Camden County, has issued heat advisories.

Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez said she's especially concerned for senior citizens already at risk with COVID-19.

"I strongly recommend everybody in the community to please reach out to our elderly," said Rodriguez.

She also advised everyone to stay home if possible. But if you do go out, try a community pool or sprinkler.

Rodriguez added to not forget about the pets.

"Sometimes people will leave their animals outside and not realize they sweat, and can suffer from heatstroke," Rodriguez said.