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National Weather Service in Mt. Holly at 6:28 a.m. today (Thursday, July 5) issued an excessive heat watch for Salem, Cumberland, Atlantic, and Cape May counties, including coastal regions from Saturday afternoon through Saturday evening.
Heat index values up to or near 109 are expected Saturday afternoon due to temperatures in the 95- to 100-degree range and dewpoints in the lower 70s.
The heat can be dangerous, especially for the elderly, infirm, the very young and those in inner-city areas that do not have air conditioning. Pets also are susceptible to the heat as is anyone working or exercising outdoors during the afternoon.
An excessive heat watch means that a prolonged period of hot temperatures is expected. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible.
In Atlantic County an elevated weather emergency is in effect with the heat wave and high humidity expected to blanket our region over the next several days, the county Office of Emergency Preparedness announced this morning. This can be especially challenging for residents who remain without power.
Atlantic County will continue to distribute ice and water to residents today behind the Hamilton Mall in Mays Landing, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Residents may also seek relief from the heat at cooling stations. Contact your local office of emergency management for locations and times of operation.
County library branches and senior centers also provide air conditioned relief from the heat. Call 1-888-426-9243 for locations and hours of operation. County library branches will reopen during normal business hours and provide another option for relief from the heat. The Mays Landing and Egg Harbor Township branches, however, were closed due to power outages.
Heat-related illness should be taken seriously and residents are reminded of the following precautions:
- Residents are advised to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun.
- Don't wait until you are thirsty; increase intake of non-caffeinated and low sugar beverages.
- Avoid very cold drinks that may cause stomach cramps.
- Avoid participation in strenuous activities during extreme heat.
- Limit activities to morning and evening hours when temperatures may be lower.
- Pace yourself and take frequent breaks in shady areas.
- Check up on relatives and neighbors. Monitor those most at risk during extreme heat, which include the very young, the elderly and the infirm.