As Larchmont and Mamaroneck residents prepare to stay cool through yet another steamy day, we should keep in mind energy conservation every step of the way to avoid loss of power.
Yesterday, Con Edison broke its 2010 record for peak electricity use by delivering 12,963 megawatts at 5 p.m., according to a statement released this morning. The temperatures speak for themselves: 102 degrees was the highest temperature predicted for yesterday, which breaks the 98 degree mark in 1999, according to Weather Underground.
As of 9:30 a.m. this morning, 11 customers were without power in the Town and Village of Mamaroneck, and none in Larchmont, according to Sandy Miller, Con Edison's director of public relations for Westchester. These are mostly small outages that will change throughout the day, she said. There are about 1500 customers without power in Westchester. The majority of them are in Yonkers, but there is also a fairly large outage in Harrison, Miller said. These numbers are also expected to change.
To stay cool and avoid area brown-outs or black-outs due to expected record peak demands, Con Edison offers the following tips:
- Making sure air conditioner filters are clean for peak efficiency;
- Setting thermostats no lower than 78 degrees. Each degree lower increases cooling costs by 6 percent;
- Closing off the rooms not being used if you have a room air-conditioner; if you have central air, block the vents in unused or vacant rooms;
- Turning off lights and other appliances, using a timer to turn them on as necessary;
- Running appliances such as ovens, washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers in the early morning or late at night when it's generally cooler. Another alternative: Using a microwave to cook, or a barbecue outside, if possible.
Also, close shades and blinds during daytime so that less heat enters your home or business. That will help both your AC and your wallet.
If you lose electric power to your home or business, contact Con Edison at 1 800-75-con ed.
The National Weather Service's heat advisory remains in effect from 11 a.m. this morning to 7 p.m this evening. With temperatures expected to reach the mid to upper 90s and humid conditions expected to increase throughout the day, it may feel like it's 100-104 degrees today for a few hours, according to the National Weather Service.
Residents are advised to drink plenty of fluids, stay in air-conditioned rooms, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors, especially the elderly. The Town of Mamaroneck will operate a cooling center at the VFW building at 1288 Boston Post Rd. between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. today, as it did yesterday.
"Should additional days be necessary, a further advisory will be issued," according to a statement released today by Town Administrator Steve Altieri.
The center will provide liquid refreshments, and people may bring their own food. Transportation to the center will be provided for senior citizens only. Seniors in need of a ride are asked to call 914-834-8840 before 3:30 p.m.
The Hommocks Pool will remain open until 8:30 p.m. tonight.
Also, an air quality health advisory is in effect today from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. This means that pollution levels are expected to rise. The New York State Department of Health recommends limiting strenuous physical activity outdoors. Those particularly vulnerable are the very young and those with pre-existing respiratory problems, such as asthma or heart disease. To stay informed on the air quality situation, call the toll-free number 1-800-535-1345.
And if you dare to be outside during the heat advisory, know that the Westchester County Parks Department has banned open fires at all county parks due to the high temperatures and the lack of rain. Charcoal and propane fires are allowed for cooking only in permanently fixed grills in the parks.
For more information, call Westchester County Parks at (914) 864-7000.
Click here for a list of safety tips from the American Red Cross.
Some useful numbers and tips from Westchester County:
- Stay Cool Hotine: 813-5620
- NYSEG electricity power outage: (800) 572-1131
- United Way's 2-1-1 Information line for updated information regarding local cooling centers.
- County Pools and Beaches
- Tips from the county Department of Emergency Services
- Advice about summer health issues from the Department of Health
Full National Weather Service forecast for Wednesday:
Today: Sunny, with a steady temperature around 85. North wind around 9 mph becoming east.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 73. Southeast wind between 3 and 8 mph.