Brooklynites turn to pools, sprinklers and senior centers to beat the heat

When the temperature and the humidity skyrocketed this week,southwestern Brooklynites knew just how to cool down.

With temperatures as high as 93 degrees and a heat indexreaching 101 on July 12, some locals and their children braved theoutdoors – and many took time to refresh in local sprinklers andpools.

Some Sunset Park residents headed to the Sunset Park PlayCenter, where the line to enter the pool became so long thatauthorities had to turn away several families hoping for anafternoon dip. The turnout is so great on hot days that the pooloften comes close to or reaches its occupant capacity – 1,678people – according to Mario Delgadio, a Parks Department officialat the Play Center.

Amber Furey-Lessen, 13, was happy to escape the heat wave at theSunset Park pool.

We’re going to the pool and doing tricks under water,Furey-Lessen said. It’s a beautiful pool – it’s nice andcool.

While some found ways to refresh outdoors, others made way topublic air-conditioned cooling centers around the borough, whichopen on especially hot days during the summer to bring locals a bitof relief.

Nonetheless, despite the heat index that day, Dianne Browning,the office manager of the Salvation Army’s Bay Ridge CorpsCommunity Center, which hosted a cooling station from 9 a.m. to 4p.m., said the center’s turnout was far from overwhelming.

Not too many people have come by today, Browning said.Earlier, there was a group of the homeless from our homelessministry that stood around until 12 to hang out for a while.

A few weeks ago on another really hot day, some people camethat didn’t have AC, she added. Maybe [that’s] because of thebreeze – it’s not so overwhelming today.

Only six seniors were cooling off at mid-afternoon at the BayRidge Center for Older Adults, located inside of Bethlehem LutheranChurch at Ovington and Fourth Avenues. We have a lot of seniors inthe Bay Ridge area, and in such hot weather, they can come here andbe with their friends and cool until night, said Kim Laraichi

Seniors present that afternoon appreciated the escape from thescorching outdoors.

I live at Shore Hill in one room and I don’t have airconditioning, said Christine Scanlon. I have two fans; I havearthritis, so I can’t have air conditioning.

William Bosworth, another senior, believes the center achievesand surpasses its purpose.

It’s very cool, Bosworth said. In fact, some people putsweaters on.

Noemi Aponte contributed reporting to this article.

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