Another record hot day in Newark

July 23, 2011 3:54:42 PM PDT
A day after setting a new all-time high, Newark hit a record 102 degrees for this date on Saturday.That smashes the old record of 100 degrees set in 1955.

On Friday, Newark set a new all-time record high of 108 degrees.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service continued an excessive heat warning that was to remain in effect until at least 8 p.m. Saturday for most of the state and 8 p.m. Sunday for urban areas.

State emergency management officials say no major problems are being reported. But they urge residents to stay indoors in air-conditioned areas and drink plenty of water. They also ask that they check in on elderly relatives and neighbors and those with special medical needs. They also reminded residents to call the state's 211 help line if they need to find cooling centers or other heat-related information,

No deaths have been reported since the heat wave began, though many people have been hospitalized with heat-related illnesses. The heat also forced Monmouth Park to cancel its Saturday horse racing card, the second straight day that's happened.

No major weather-related problems were reported as of late Saturday morning, and utilities said no major widespread outages had occurred. While the power grid appeared to be in good shape, the utilities were still asking residents to avoid any unnecessary power usage, such as doing laundry or leaving lights on in unoccupied rooms.

PSE&G said about 4,100 of its more than two million customers were without electric service at some point Saturday morning. The state's largest utility said its peak demand came about 3 p.m. Friday, when it reached 10,883 megawatts, slightly shy of 11,108 megawatts set in August of 2006.

Meanwhile, about 5,000 Jersey Central Power and Light customers had no power by mid-afternoon Saturday morning, while Atlantic City Electric said about 300 customers had no service. But almost all affected customers were expected to have their power restored by late afternoon.

Water utilities also urged residents to conserve and refrain from outdoor watering.

Residents were trying to take the heat in stride, though many said they planned trips to malls or movie theaters so they could get out of the house but still stay cool.

"I love my four kids dearly and they love me, but if we all have to stay together in the house for too long, one or more us won't make it out alive," joked Margaret Sanger of Berkeley Township as she picked up some milk and eggs at a local supermarket Saturday morning. Her family planned to take in the new "Harry Potter" movie in the early afternoon, then go to a local restaurant for dinner.

"I haven't had the oven on for a few days since its been so hot, and we've basically been living on fruit and sandwiches. We need a little more sustenance," Sanger said.


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.

The 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.

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.

Newark Mayor Cory 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 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