Thirty minutes before noon on Friday, Mark MacLeod delivered mail to residents on Lock Street in Mohawk, wearing a sun helmet, shorts and a short-sleeve shirt. He also had a towel wrapped around the strap of his carrier bag.
With temperatures expected to reach into the 90s for a sixth day, MacLeod was prepared.
“I do everything I can do,” he said about keeping cool, explaining he used the towel to wipe the sweat from his brow.
MacLeod also said he drinks plenty of water to help stay cool.
As a letter carrier with the U. S. Postal Service for the past 10 years, MacLeod said he’s use to dealing with the elements.
“It’s just the opposite in January when there’s sub-zero degree weather,” he said.
Residents in the Mohawk Valley and throughout the region have been dealing with the hot temperatures. Cooling stations were opened throughout the week, including one at Frank J. Basloe Library in Herkimer, to provide water, snacks and air conditioning for residents in need. The stations were expected to close on Friday.
People also visited their local pools as a way to stay cool.
Donna Beauchamp, director of Basloe Pool in Herkimer, said their attendance has been up to nearly 300 people, doubling the amount of visitors they have normally.
Since 1874, that’s occurred only 10 times, with the last time being in 2002,” said Steve DiRienzo, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albany, during a telephone interview on Friday about six days of 90 degree heat.
DiRienzo said the heat wave is supposed to break on Saturday, when clouds, showers and thunderstorms are expected to move into the region.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged New Yorkers in the mean time to reduce their energy usage in a news release on Friday to help prevent power outages. The heat wave has resulted in near record demand for electricity, he said.
“During this heat wave, it is understandable that many New Yorkers are staying cool indoors and turning up the air conditioning,” said Cuomo. “I urge New Yorkers to proactively conserve electricity use when possible to ease the pressure on the power grid and prevent outages. As we wait for temperatures to go down, New Yorkers should take appropriate actions to stay cool and healthy.”
To help reduce demand for electricity, consumers are asked to conserve by setting air conditioner thermostat to no lower than 78 degrees and to only use it when at home. Consumers can also turn non-essential lighting and appliances off and to only use appliance that have heavy electrical loads early in the morning or late at night.
New Yorkers are also advised to slow down on strenuous activity and exercise during the sun’s peak hours between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., to eat less protein and more fruits and vegetables and to drink at least two to four glasses of water per hour.
Page 2 of 2 - For more information about how to handle the heat and health problems related to the heat, go to http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oem/safety-info/publicsafety/heataware.cfm.