Newark smashes all-time heat record

July 22, 2011 8:10:59 PM PDT
The temperature topped 100 degrees in Newark before noon Friday, and soared to a new all-time high.By 3:00 p.m., the temperature had reached 108 degrees, smashing the previous all-time high of 105.

The old record for this day was 101 back in 1957.

By early Friday afternoon, thermometers were soaring to triple digits from north to south.

In northern New Jersey, Teterboro hit 102; Somerville hot 101; and it was 99 in Morristown and Caldwell.

Many cities have opened cooling centers. Emergency officials urged residents to call the state's help line - 211 - if they needed details on finding them or other heat-related information.


It looks like the heat will continue into Saturday before the there is a bit of a break on Sunday. The advice remains the same: Drink plenty of water, avoid prolonged exposure outside, and check on elderly neighbors and pets.

"I can't leave the house at all," one resident said. "Because I don't want to be out in the heat.

Friday could be the hottest day of the year, and in Newark and Jersey City, cooling centers are open again.

There are special concerns for the elderly.

"Seniors, in particular, are a very vulnerable population, because they have a tendency to sweat less," aquatic supervisor Jamie Gordon said.

The summer scorcher brought out volunteers trying to save a community garden by keeping the plants, and themselves, hydrated. But this heat can be deadly, or at the very least, sickening.

Heat exhaustion can come after too much heat and too little fluids. Look for heavy sweating, pale skin, muscle fatigue, tiredness, dizziness, headaches or fainting.

In Jersey City, a wet plunge in a city pool should have done the trick. But there was no cool down, as the pools that were supposed to close at 9 p.m. closed early.

"It was too hot to be out here, the humidity was high and everyone was sweating," one pool-goer said. "So we came over here to the pool thinking it was going to be open til 9, but they put us out at 7:30."

Jersey City officials say the pools will stay open until 9 on Friday. Newark Mayor Cory Booker has issued a heat advisory for Friday and is asking that the elderly do their best to stay inside.

The Department of Child and Family Well-Being, located at 110 William Street, and several other sites throughout Newark, will function as cooling centers for residents seeking refuge from the heat. For more information about the cooling centers (CLICK HERE), seniors should contact the Office on Aging, during the hours of 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays at (973) 733-4392.

Booker is also warning residents to not open fire hydrants. It's not only illegal, but fire officials say it's dangerous. Open fire hydrants can severely hamper the Fire Department's ability to fight fires in an emergency situation. It also disrupts the water supply for homes and businesses and create safety hazards for children who play in the water sprays as well as for motorists. In addition, hydrants become damaged when the wrong type of wrench is used to open them.

Individuals who are caught illegally opening water hydrants are subject to fines of up to $1,000 and 90 days in jail for each offense.

To report an open fire hydrant and have it shut, contact the Fire Department at (973) 733-7400. For information about any City of Newark program or policy, contact the Non-Emergency Call Center at (973) 733-4311.

PSE&G is continuing to monitor weather conditions, and has extra personnel and supplies on hand to assure that heat-related emergencies are handled safely and promptly.

Although PSE&G expects to have enough electricity to meet demand, it's always helpful to conserve where possible. PSE&G is providing the following conservation tips:

  • Turn off everything you're not using; lights, TVs, computers, etc. Use dimmers, timers and motion detectors on indoor and outdoor lighting.

  • Close blinds, shades and draperies facing the sun to keep the sun's heat out and help fans and air conditioners cool more efficiently.
  • Close doors leading to uncooled parts of your home. With central air, close off vents to unused rooms.
  • Delay heat-producing tasks such as washing and drying laundry or dishes until later in the day, and wait until load is full.
  • Refrain from using nonessential appliances. Unplug or use only when necessary an extra refrigerator in your garage. Also, customers should consider setting their air conditioners to 78 degrees, health permitting.

    To report a power outage, call PSE&G's Customer Service line: 1-800-436-PSEG or log on to My Account at