Friday, July 19, 2019

Heat Wave Coming This Weekend Over 100 Degrees, NYC Extending Hours For Pools And Sprinklers - RIOC Closing Roosevelt Island Sportspark Park After 12 PM Saturday And Sunday, Why?

It's going to be brutally hot this weekend - temperatures over 100 degrees and heat index of 111 degrees.

NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio advises New Yorkers:
... So, today – the latest as of a short while ago from the National Weather Service – today, we’ll get to a high of 90 degrees, a heat index of up to 101 degrees, and that will be primarily up till 5:00 pm, when it will be at its hottest. We could see thunderstorms tonight – that might help for a period of time, but we're not sure about the details of that yet. Tomorrow – a temperature high predicted of 97 degrees, heat index of 111 degrees – again, with the worst period of being up through 5:00 PM tomorrow; Sunday – also high of 97 degrees, heat index of 110 degrees up to 5:00 pm. Some of you are probably learning about heat index – that’s the way it actually feels. It's not just the temperature outside, but when you add in the humidity, the full effect – it’s what you feel, it’s what your body is feeling. It's the equivalent – with cold weather – of wind-chill factor. So, what it's going to feel like tomorrow and Sunday is going to be upwards of 110 degrees – obviously, very extreme for the body. So, everyone has to be really careful and understand that this is a very unusual situation.

So, since that kind of heat can be dangerous, let's go into some of the things that we're advising people to do and some of the steps we're taking. First – number one, if at all possible, stay indoors Saturday and Sunday to the maximum extent possible and, specifically, stay out of the sun. If you do have to go outdoors, keep it to a minimum. But, if you go out, it's a big difference whether you're in the sun or not. You’re going to feel a lot better if you're not in the sun.

Now, we know for our parents – and I can say this as a parent myself – it’s hard to keep kids indoors that long, so there will be good places to go with your kids. All of the City parks, playgrounds will have – that have sprinklers, will have them on until dark. For the City pools – our Olympic-size pools and our intermediate pools will be open until 8:00 pm – that’s extended hours – tonight, Saturday night, Sunday, until 8:00 pm. We were able to extend our beach hours one hour to 7:00 pm. That was the maximum we could do while still ensuring that we had the lifeguards we needed and the safety conditions we needed. But we have added an extra hour today, tomorrow, Sunday at our beaches.
But due to the heat wave, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) has chosen to close the Sportspark Pool

  Image From RIOC

after 12 PM Saturday and Sunday.

According to RIOC:
Due to anticipated high levels of heat and humidity, the Sportspark Indoor Pool will be closed after 12:00PM on both Saturday, 7/20 and Sunday 7/21. We encourage anyone without air conditioning to visit the cooling center at 546 Main Street. For emergencies, please dial 911 or call PSD at 212-832-4545. 
For those wishing to cool themselves down at a Roosevelt Island pool, there is the Manhattan Park pool

for those who are members or able to buy a day pass, as well as the Octagon, Rivercross and Westview pools for their building residents.

For everyone else, no pool for you after 12 PM on Saturday and Sunday.

I've asked RIOC for an explanation for closing Sportspark pool during this heat wave and will update when more info received.

UPDATE 6:15 PM - A RIOC spokesperson replied:
Please note the following explanation for tomorrow’s closure of the Sportspark pool. As you will see, there’s too much detail to include in an advisory. In short, we decided to close the pool for the health and safety of our customers and employees.
  1. Most city pools staying open late tomorrow are outdoor pools. Indoor pools have a different set of concerns in extreme heat conditions, especially at Sportspark.
  2. As you already know, Sportspark will be undergoing major renovations in the near future. Recent assessments of the facility’s aging HVAC system showed that several areas - including the pool area - lack adequate cooling systems. We have placed temporary cooling condensers throughout the building and will have a temporary solution for the pool area soon. Unfortunately, none of these measures will be ready in time for this weekend.
  3. The heat index tomorrow and Sunday are predicted to rise significantly after noon, causing the indoor humidity to soar. Industry average for indoor pool humidity levels are between 50 - 60%. Today, the pool humidity level was at 68% at an 85 degree indoor temperature. This condition will only get worse tomorrow as the outdoor temperature is expected to rise even higher. Chlorine becomes difficult to breathe in humid conditions, especially without a properly functioning dehumidification system or cooling system in place. Out of an abundance of caution, we decided to close the pool for the safety and health of our customers and employees.