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And the heat goes on ... and on

Union Leader Correspondent

July 17. 2013 8:27PM

Another day, another scorcher. More hot weather is on tap for the remainder of the week, causing towns to open cooling centers and cancel activities to keep residents out of the heat.

In Milford, the Wadleigh Memorial Library has been designated a cooling center by the town, according to Jodie Gaffney of the Milford Fire Department.

"The library has air conditioning so people can cool down if they need to," she said.

Nicole Banks, director of Milford's recreation department, said the town pool is very popular this year.

Though none of the recreation programs in Milford have been changed due to the weather, Banks said staffers are "making sure our program participants attend class with water and that they drink lots of water and apply sunblock."

In Manchester, summer activities have been canceled due to the heat. In Berlin, Recreation Programmer Terry Letarte said the town's field hockey program is being postponed until next week until there are cooler temperatures.

"We decided it's best to play it safe," said Letarte. "We're still holding baseball in the morning, but today we ended our game after only four innings because it was so hot. I think the parents were grateful."

The city's playground program is still running because the playground is in the shade, but a directive went out to staff this week giving them the go-ahead to cancel if the heat became too much.

"We told them it's OK to shut down if they need to, but they've been sticking it out," Letarte said.

At the Salem Boys and Girls Club, Chief Professional Officer Michael Centor said he and the staff have been keeping an eye on temperatures and reducing the amount of time kids are spending outside.

"Luckily we have a wonderful facility that's air conditioned so we're cutting the amount of time the kids spend on the playground and then bringing them into the gym," Centor said. "We're also making sure that we have extra water on hand so kids stay hydrated."

Peterborough Fire Chief Joseph Lennox said that the town has places where folks can cool off but no official cooling centers have been advertised, and there also hasn't been any demand thus far.

The pool and the town beach are open until 8 p.m., and I think that's helping a lot," said Lennox.

There have been a few cases of heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke and dehydration, officials said.

"We've seen some dehydration, an increase in sunburns and an increase in asthma because of the humidity," said Dr. Polina Sayess at Immediate Care of Southern New Hampshire in Nashua. "But overall it's not been as bad as one would expect. I think the public does a pretty good job of taking preventative care."

Nancy Notis, spokesman for Parkland Medical Center in Derry and Portsmouth Regional Hospital said there have been several cases of heat-related visits in the past few days, but "nothing severe, and nothing significant."

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