New Jerseyans Suffer Through Heat Wave

By Senior Correspondent Desirée Taylor
NJ Today

It’s hot. So hot, in fact, you could see heat radiating from the pavement in Newark. That’s why camp leader Sabrina Massey was happy to bring her kids to a local pool.

“It’s very hot. It’s about 95 I guess,” she said.

“I am in the water, playing with my friends,” said camper Jamauri Massey.

The high temps also sent people flocking to the Jersey Shore.

But it was all work and no play for a construction crew working downtown in Military Park in Newark.

“We try to take breaks when we can and drink a lot of fluids, keep an eye on the manpower and make sure that everybody’s doing OK,” said Let It Grow Construction Foreman Gordon Cheer.

Young soccer players also took periodic breaks to get water. And Coach Jasmin Corniel says they altered the schedule to avoid practicing during the hottest time of the day.

“We’re trying to stay in the sections with lots of shade. Also we have broken up day into sections so we’re bringing them in for pool, air conditioned cafeteria area and also a video in the late afternoon,” Corniel said.

Municipalities across the state opened cooling centers, including a library in Bloomfield. That’s where we found Robert Jelly enjoying a good book and the air conditioning.

“The thing I come in here to escape is the humidity. So it’s nice to have air conditioning,” Jelly said.

Keeping facilities and homes cool does take a toll on utility companies. But PSE&G spokesperson Karen Johnson says so far they’ve been able to meet the high demand.

“This past week we really haven’t had any problems. We prepare for summer all year round. We replace circuits and transformers and other equipment. We are keeping a close eye on our substations and switching stations to make sure that they are operating properly. So far everything’s been operating smoothly. We only had some minor outages here and there,” Johnson said.

Customers can do their part by conserving energy. Meanwhile, forecasters say there’s no relief in sight. The heat wave is expected to continue over the next several days.

An air quality alert has been issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. And the New Jersey Department of Health reminds residents that extreme heat can cause serious health problems such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Their advice? Stay hydrated, minimize physical outdoor activity and check on the elderly, children and pets.