First Selectman Pat Llodra, Newtown Emergency Management Director Bill Halstead and the Newtown Health District are offering information to prevent citizens from becoming victims of the heat during these days of extremely high temperatures.
The weather forecast is for hot temperatures throughout the week. Residents should feel free to visit any of the locations listed below to seek relief from the heat:
*Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street, from 7 am to 8 pm. The First Selectman’s office can be reached by calling 203-270-4201; Emergency Management/Fire Marshal, 203-270-4370; or Health District, 203-270-4291.
*Cyrenius Booth Library, 25 Main Street (telephone 203-426-4533). Hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:30 am to 8 pm; Friday, 11 am to 5 pm; and Saturday, 9:30 am to 5 pm (the library is closed on Sundays during the summer).
*Newtown Senior Center, 14 Riverside Road in Sandy Hook (203-270-4310).
*Edmond Town Hall Theatre, 45 Main Street (MovieLine, 203-426-2475). This week’s feature is Iron Man 3, starring Robert Downey Jr, Gwenyth Paltrow and Don Cheadle. The movie is rated PG-13.
Screenings are nightly at 7 and 9:20 pm, and every afternoon at 1 pm. All tickets are $2.
Fast and Furious 6, rated PG-13 and starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson, begins July 19 and will follow the same screening schedule. It continues through July 25.
Meanwhile, the officials say, continue to do errands, but plan your trip in advance. Do shopping and other errands, keeping in mind that grocery stores are full of healthy choices and they, like most local businesses, have air-conditioning.
“Visit the places that have air-conditioning,” Health Department Director Donna Culbert said Monday morning. “Plan your day, and try to take your break in a location that can offer you some cooling down.”
The town officials are also encouraging residents to check on any elderly or frail neighbors to be certain they are doing OK in this weather.
“You might want to suggest that they come to the Municipal Center, or any other cool locations, if their residence is overheated,” the trio said via a press release.
Also monitor pets. Keep them out of the sun, do not leave them in cars — even with the windows open — and be sure they have plenty of water.
Individuals are urged to take the following steps to ensure good health:
*Drink plenty of water
*Avoid strenuous activities
*Take frequent rests for cooling down in an air conditioned area or near a fan
*Wear light, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing
*Avoid alcohol and caffeine
*Eat lightly throughout the day
*Avoid exposure to direct sunlight or long periods in the sun (especially between the hours of noon and 4 pm, which are the hottest hours during the day)
Heat related illness has some common symptoms that should be watched for, including dry, red, spotted skin; mental confusion, body temperatures at or above 105° F, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, headache, nausea, cramps, and rash.
National Weather Service Notes
By late Monday morning, the National Weather Service (NWS) said a heat wave is building across the Ohio Valley and eastern United States.
“Above-normal temperatures are expected from the Mid-Atlantic to New England on Monday, as an area of high pressure builds across the region,” NWS posted on its website. “Afternoon temperatures in the mid- to upper- 90s will lead to dangerous heat index values of 100° F to 105° F. Meanwhile, temperatures will be 10-20 degrees below normal across the southern Plains into the Southwest.”
While there were no warnings in place at 11:15 am, a Heat Advisory was put into effect for the hours of noon until 8 pm Monday for Nassau County, the lower Hudson Valley, interior portions of New Jersey, and southern Connecticut. Newtown was included within that advisory. A Hazardous Weather Outlook had also been posted for much of the tri-state area, also running from 12-8 pm.
High levels of heat and humidity are predicted, with the NWS saying “the highest heat index values will occur during the afternoon and early evening on Monday.”
A Heat Advisory is issued by the weather service when the combination of heat and humidity is expected to make it feel like it is at least 95° F for two consecutive days, or if heat index values reach 100 to 104 degrees.
If no protective action is taken, they warn, “initial impacts include fatigue, sunstroke, muscle cramps and/or heat exhaustion are also possible.”
Like local town officials, the NWS also encourages people to schedule frequent breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments. When possible, those working outside must take extra precautions. Rescheduling strenuous activities to early morning or late evening is also recommended.
“Heat stroke is an emergency,” the NWS notice says. “Call 911.”
NWS had the temperature at 11:30 am Monday, July 15, was 87° F. Humidity was at 59 percent, with barely a wind (8 mph) recorded. Daytime temperatures through Friday are predicted to remain in the low 90s, with nighttime temps in the high 60s tonight and Tuesday, and the low 70s through the end of the week.
There is no rain predicted until Saturday, when scattered showers and thunderstorms “could produce heavy rain,” according to NWS.