Cooling centers will open across southern part of state,

By Ray Brewer WMUR


Preparations are underway for dangerous heat that’s expected in New Hampshire, where it could approach 100 degrees over the weekend.

Eversource officials said they plan to have crews standing by to deal with outages or other problems, and public health officials across the state are making recommendations for people to stay safe.

Cooling centers have been set up in some communities, including in Manchester, where the William Cashin Senior Center will be open for people who need relief from the heat.

Eversource is asking customers to take some measures to conserve electricity, such as increasing the temperature on the air conditioner when they leave home.

“Making sure the filters and coils are clean, making sure that you seal any gaps or cracks in your home so the air stays in,” said William Hinkle, of Eversource.

Using other appliances early in the morning or late at night can also help ease the load on the power grid. Hinkle said that a typical peak demand in the summer is about 25,000 megawatts. Extreme demand is about 27,000 megawatts, and the all-time peak was 28,000 megawatts. The system has an expected available capacity of 32,000 megawatts, so there should be enough power to avoid brownouts, Hinkle said.

The heat can still be tough on some people.

“Among the most vulnerable are infants, the elderly, those with medical conditions,” said Aaron Krycki, Manchester environmental health supervisor.

The Manchester Health Department said staying hydrated is particularly important, but people should avoid certain liquids.

“We would suggest staying away from caffeinated beverages, as well as alcohol-related (drinks), because those will use more fluids in your bodies than they replenish,” Krycki said.

In addition to the cooling centers being set up in communities across southern New Hampshire, the swimming pools in Manchester are open seven days a week and located throughout the city.

No matter how you try to cool down, be on the lookout for heat-related illness.

“A rapid pulse, hot, red skin, when you stop sweating and experience chills — those are all incredibly important symptoms of heat-related illness,” Krycki said.

Officials also reminded people to always check the back seat for children and pets when they leave their cars. There have been nine infant deaths related to heat across the country.

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