After weeks of heavy downpours with no sun in sight, the weather took a sharp turn last week, as the Capital District grappled with grueling temperatures in a heat that lasted Monday, July 15, through Saturday, July, 20.
As the week grew hotter, county officials urged residents to stay cool by remaining indoors and drinking plenty of fluids.
Mary Rozak, spokeswoman for Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, said they were most concerned about elderly residents and making sure they understood signs of overheating and heat exhaustion.
“When the mercury starts to climb, it doesn’t take too long to get overheated or dehydrated,” McCoy said in a statement. “We all need to be smart and know the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and exhaustion just in case.”
On Monday, July 22, Rozak said officials didn’t receive any reports of overheating. A list of tips on how to stay cool were sent out and posted on the county’s website. The Albany County Department for Aging also helped provide several ways to keep seniors cool and hydrated during the heat wave. CDTA provided seniors transportation to cooling centers around the county, or to a friend of family member’s home with air conditioning. Seniors that routinely receive home delivered meals were provided with extra water and meals, as well as a fact sheet on tips to stay cool and hydrated during the heat wave.
The county advised all residents to frequent any cooling stations, including libraries, malls and some schools.
In Colonie, temperatures didn’t keep everyone indoors. There were cooling stations designated at the William K. Sanford Town Library and The Beltrone Living Center, but town spokeswoman Sara Wiest said sometimes when they are set up, people don’t often go to them.
Although the Albany International Airport released a statement on Tuesday, July 16, that the airfield pavement temperature reached a high of 157 degrees at 2 p.m., the town pool at The Colonie Mohawk River Park was packed with smiling faces on Wednesday, July 17.
Pool frequenter Diana Macy said she goes to the Colonie Town Pool about three times a week for at least three hours. Oftentimes, she comes with a group of four adults and seven kids to help cool off in the pool’s refreshing water.
Breanna Odom found herself at the pool with some friends for the first time and said she’s spent most of her time inside during the intense heat.
“I go to the mall. Shop and be cool at the same time,” she said.
Jodi Nash took her two children to the pool to get away from her non-air conditioned home Wednesday.
“We just try to stay out of the house for the most part, keep the house shut up during the day,” Nash said.
While her kids attend swim lessons in the morning, they often find themselves back at the pool in the afternoon, whether it’s in Colonie, Delmar or Saratoga.
“It’s a great way to stay cool, see friends and it’s inexpensive,” she said.
And while Danyelle Gipson brought her children and friends to cool off at the pool, she said the best way to beat the heat can be the refreshing treats of the summer.
“We try to stay in some water … but we eat a lot of ice cream!” she said.