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As high temps loom in Massachusetts, schools close, cities set up cooling centers

As heat wave moves in, cities around Massachusetts prepare for high temps
As heat wave moves in, cities around Massachusetts prepare for high temps 02:08

BOSTON - Summer has arrived in Boston with temperatures rising above 95 this week, and folks are preparing for a heatwave.

"It's really hot, so I want to avoid heatstroke or anything like that," Morgan Austin, of Boston, said.   

Worcester cancels school

On Monday, Worcester Public Schools announced the district will close the school year early because of the heat. Students' last day of school will be Tuesday. The district released a statement, which said, "Because of the age of our buildings, many do not have air conditioning. We regret that we are ending the school year in an abrupt manner, but we want to ensure our students and staff are safe in what are predicted to be unusually hot temperatures."

Boston declares heat emergency

Back in Boston, Mayor Michelle Wu is also preparing Boston Public Schools. "We are planning to declare a heat emergency Tuesday through Thursday. There are about 10 schools that don't have air conditioning in the building," Mayor Wu said. 

⚠ Beware of the forecast for extreme temperatures this week. Dial 211 from any phone in Massachusetts for help beating the heat. 🥵

Posted by Mass211 on Monday, June 17, 2024

Dr. Caleb Dresser, an Emergency Department physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said during a heat wave folks need to be aware of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. "Heat is particularly dangerous for certain groups of people, particularly older adults who live alone, people who are pregnant or folks who can't get out of the heat," he said.

Dresser said people should have a plan that includes staying in cool places, wearing proper attire and checking on your neighbor. "That can mean light-colored clothing, lightweight clothing. That can mean having plenty of water, hydration, electrolites available," Dresser said. 

City officials say Boston will be opening up its cooling centers for the elderly and for people who do not have air conditioning. 

Keeping pets safe in the heat

Kara Holmquist is director of Advocacy for MSPCA Angell Animal Shelter. She said its important to protect your pets during a heatwave. 

"If your going to walk your dog, walk in early morning or late at night. Avoid that hot part of the day," she said. "Also we try to encourage people to leave their animals at home on hot days. We also encourage people to take into account the heat of the pavement. It can get really hot for them, too. If you can't keep your hand down on the pavement for seven seconds, it's going to be hot on their pads."

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