Albany, NY - August 11, 2016 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that he has directed the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to offer extended hours at state swimming facilities and other state parks for the second time this summer. Given the current spike in oppressive heat and humidity, extended hours for swimming facilities will begin today and continue through Sunday, August 14. The Governor also urged New Yorkers to take appropriate precautions to stay safe, as temperatures near 100 degrees throughout the state this week.
“With temperatures expected to reach 100 degrees this week, we must take every precaution to ensure the safety of New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “I have directed New York’s parks to extend their hours at state swimming facilities to provide more New Yorkers with a respite from the oppressive heat surge. I urge all New Yorkers to take necessary steps to limit heat exposure and stay safe during these extremely hot summer days.”
The following State Park swimming facilities will be open for extended hours:
- Long Island: The ocean beaches at Jones Beach, Robert Moses and Hither Hills State Parks, beach at Sunken Meadow State Park along the Long Island Sound and the swimming pool at Jones Beach, will remain open until 8 PM.
- New York City: Sprinklers will once again be added to Gantry Plaza State Park in Queens and East River State Park in Brooklyn.
- Mid-Hudson: The swimming pool at FDR State Park will remain open until 6:30 PM on Thursday and Friday and 7:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Ore Pit Pond at Taconic State Park - Copake Falls Area is open until 7 PM.
- Capital Region: The Victoria Pool in Saratoga Spa State Park and the beach at Grafton Lakes State Park will remain open until 8 PM. The beach at Moreau Lake State Park will be open until 7 PM Thursday and 8 PM Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
- North Country: The swimming beaches at Cedar Point, Point Au Roche, Robert Moses, Southwick Beach, Wellesley Island, Westcott Beach State Parks and the swimming pool at Keewaydin State Park will remain open until 8 PM.
- Mohawk Valley/Central New York: The swimming beaches at Green Lakes, Delta Lake and Sandy Island Beach State Parks will open until 8:00 PM.
- Finger Lakes: The swimming beach at Hamlin Beach will be open to 8 PM, and the North Pool at Letchworth State Park will be open until 7 PM on Thursday and Friday and 8 PM on Saturday and Sunday.
- Western New York: Swimming facilities at Beaver Island and Fort Niagara will remain open until 8 PM and the Red House and Quaker Area beaches at Allegany State Park will be open until 7:45 PM.
State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, “Whether it’s cooling off along an ocean or lakefront beach, at the pool or on the spray ground, state parks are the perfect place to beat the heat. Thank you Governor Cuomo for providing families more opportunities to cool off and get comfortable when the temperatures rise.”
This marks the second time this summer state parks have extended swim hours at their facilities. On July 26, Governor Cuomo directed State Parks to extend the hours for a period of three days so that New Yorkers had another way to beat the heat when temperatures rose.
Swimming may be affected by hazardous weather or changing water conditions. Please check State Parks’ website, or call the park directly, to confirm availability.
Excessive heat is the leading cause of preventable, weather-related deaths each year, particularly among the elderly. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heat causes more than 650 preventable deaths in the United States yearly. In most years, excessive heat causes more deaths than floods, lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes combined. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Weather Service statistics, there have been more than 80 deaths directly attributable to heat in New York State since 2006.
The expected high temperatures are prompting the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to offer New Yorkers tips to help them stay safe.
DHSES Commissioner John Melville said, “It is important to be aware of problems that can occur during periods of extreme heat. Take precautions for your health but also plan for power outages as utility usage is at its peak.”
To help New Yorkers stay safe during excessive heat, DOH and DHSES offer this advice:
- Be aware of both the temperature and the humidity.
- Slow down on strenuous activity and exercise, especially during the sun’s peak hours of 11 A.M. to 4 P.M.
- Exercise should be done in the early morning between 4 A.M. and 7 A.M.
- Eat less protein and more fruits and vegetables. Protein produces and increases metabolic heat, which causes water loss. Eat small meals, but eat more often. Do not eat salty foods.
- Drink at least 2-4 glasses of water per hour during extreme heat, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.
- If possible, stay out of the sun and stay in air conditioning. The sun heats the inner core of your body, resulting in dehydration. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine, or go to a public building with air conditioning.
- If you must go outdoors, wear sunscreen with a high sun protector factor rating (at least SPF 15) and a hat to protect your face and head. When outdoors, wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. Cover as much skin as possible to avoid sunburn and over-warming effects of sunlight on your body.
- Do not leave children, pets or those who require special care in a parked car or vehicle during periods of intense summer heat. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach over 140 degrees Fahrenheit quickly. Exposure to such high temperatures can kill within a matter of minutes.
- Make an effort to check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially if they are elderly, have young children or have special needs.
- Make sure there is enough food and water for pets.
Energy Saving Tips:
- Power outages are more likely to occur during warm weather, when utility usage is at its peak. To avoid putting a strain on the power grid, conserve energy to help prevent power disruptions.
- Set your air conditioner thermostat no lower than 78 degrees.
- Only use the air conditioner when you are home.
- Turn non-essential appliances off. Only use appliances that have heavy electrical loads early in the morning or very late at night.