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New Yorkers Fight To Keep Cool As Heat Index Hits 100

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- People throughout the Tri-State area were trying to beat the oppressive heat Sunday.

The temperatures were in the low 90s, but the humidity was making it feel as though it was around 100 in the afternoon.


Despite the blistering heat, the suits were still out in Midtown Manhattan, where for some it was business as usual, WCBS 880's Jim Smith reported.

"Too hot in this suit. Way too hot. But, you know, it comes with the job," said one man who works bank security.

New Yorkers Fight To Keep Cool As Heat Index Hits 100

He does have air-conditioning inside, but just getting to and from the job is a "strain," he added.

For outside workers, however, there is little relief.

"You got to keep drinking Slurpees," said a tour bus ticket agent who has to pound the pavement all day. "That's how you deal with it, man."

New Yorkers Fight To Keep Cool As Heat Index Hits 100

At Lexington Avenue and East 42nd Street, a food cart worker was grilling meat over coals, 1010 WINS' Roger Stern reported.

Out on the sidewalk, some people were stopping to get some relief. When a business' doors would open briefly, they would enjoy a quick blast of air. Some, meanwhile, were heading into stores, restaurants or movie theaters to escape the sticky heat.

"I'm drinking water and wearing shorts," one woman said. " ... Hopefully I'm getting into an air-conditioned building soon."

Seemingly everyone walking by was clutching some sort of iced beverage, which was good news for some businesses.

"A lot of people actually come in here and buy stuff off us since we usually have a lot of cold-pressed juices, a lot of nutritional stuff," said Angel, who works at Juice Generation in Midtown.

By 8 a.m., it was already hot and humid on Coney Island, with some people hitting the water to try to cool off, CBS2's Ilana Gold reported.

The city's Office of Emergency Management was warning everyone to be careful because it's easy to get sick in the hot, humid weather.

The elderly and those with health problems are at the highest risk.

Officials are urging New Yorkers to try to keep cool, offering suggestions such as:
• Stay in air-conditioned places
• Drink water
• Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing
• Avoid strenuous activity from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., typically the warmest time of the day.

People were listening to the warnings Sunday.

"I love it. The hotter, the better," one woman who was on the Coney Island boardwalk in the morning told Gold. "I love extreme weather, and we always have the ocean, and that's where I'm heading."

In Manhattan, 4000 athletes also hit the water, then bikes and pavement where they competed in the New York City Triathlon, CBS2's Tracee Carrasco reported.

"It was very hot," said Brian Krause. "It was weird when swimming in the Hudson is the best part."

The triathlon is a serious challenge even without the intense heat. A number of competitors even collapsed at the finish line, Carrasco reported.

"I guess that's what triathlons are all about -- fighting the weather, fighting the course," said John Russoniello of Middletown New Jersey.

But on Pier 84 on the West Side -- even the dogs found a way to cool down. The huge fountain seemed to be the main attraction. Not just for the kids, but the adults too.

A lot of people were heading to hardware stores to buy fans and air conditioners to make sure they're keeping cool.

If you don't have access to air conditioning, cooling centers are open across the five boroughs. To find a cooling center near you, call 311 or click here.

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