Communities brace for heat wave

·2 min read

Aug. 3—With the National Weather Service forecasting extreme heat of up to 101 degrees on Thursday followed by temperatures in the 90s through Monday, Haverhill and Lawrence are offering their residents a number of ways to keep cool.

Forecasters say it will feel even hotter on Thursday than the predicted 101 degrees, with an anticipated heat index — what it will actually feel like when coupled with the humidity — reaching as high as 107 degrees.

Haverhill's Citizens Center at 10 Welcome St. will be open as a cooling center with expanded hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. until the heat wave subsides.

"If the heat wave continues and it remains in the 90s and oppressive, we will continue to keep the Citizen Center open as a cooling station," said Vincent Ouellette, the city's human services director.

Water cannons will be in operation from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Cashman Field on Hilldale Avenue; the Consentino School at 685 Washington St., at Riverside Park on Lincoln Avenue; the 12th Avenue Park; and in Wysocki Park in the Mount Washington neighborhood.

"We also have Plug Pond where you can cool off from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily throughout the summer and we have a Splash Pad at Swasey Field, which is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day," Ouellette said.

"If you can, stay indoors, drink plenty of fluids, avoid exercising and keep cool with ice or Popsicles and wear light colored clothing," he added.

Lawrence officials on Wednesday were preparing to open cooling centers and fire hydrants as another onslaught of hot weather was predicted throughout the region.

Police Chief Roy Vasque said officers will be checking on the homeless population and those wandering around in the heat, advising them to take cover in a designated cooling area.

Cooling centers will be opened at The Senior Center, 155 Haverhill St. and at the Lawrence Public Library, 51 Lawrence St.

Hydrants in a variety of city neighborhoods are also expected to open Thursday, said Jhovanny Martes, assistant to Mayor Brian DePena.

It was unclear what hours the cooling centers and hydrants would be open.

The state run Geisler Memorial Pool at 50 High St. and the Lt. Colonel Edward Higgins Swimming Pool at 180 Crawford St. have also been open and have been attracting hundreds of swimmers this summer.

The pools are open from 11:15 a.m. to 6:45 p.m., with extended hours on Thursdays, according to the city's website

Reporter Jill Harmacinski contributed to this report