An oppressive heat wave set to stick around until Sunday is baking the tri-state with temperatures and humidity that combine to feel hotter than 100 degrees, causing scattered power outages as the demand for electricity surges and bringing more people into local hospitals for heat-related illnesses.
Temperatures reached the 90s before noon in some parts of the New York City metro area Tuesday, and there were reports of blackouts as customers cranked up their air-conditioners. Con Edison also warned of a 5-percent voltage reduction across Staten Island, though most people shouldn't notice the change.
The utility company has said it was prepared for possible power outages and has extra crews on call for the duration of the heat wave.
Hospitals across New York City, including New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, New York Presbyterian Lower Manhattan, Harlem, Bellevue, Metropolitan, St. Luke's, and Lincoln in the Bronx, reported about a 5 to 10 percent increase in calls for heat-related issues. New York Hospital in Queens said it saw about a 15 to 20 percent increase.
Most were for dehydration or overheating, in which case the patient was treated and released. There were no serious cases or hospitalizations due to the heat.
The next day highs will get out of the 90s is Sunday.
The last time the high temperature in Central Park reached or exceeded 90 degrees for six days in a row was July 16, 2008. The longest heat wave on record at Central Park was Aug. 24 to Sept. 4, 1953, when the temperature reached or exceeded 90 degrees for 12 straight days.
Forecasters say the heat will feel the worst from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
New York City's Office of Emergency Management warned of heat illness, advising seniors and people with health conditions to stay in air-conditioned areas. OEM says all New Yorkers should avoid strenuous activity and drink plenty of water.
A City Council intern fainted at an outdoor press conference in Brooklyn Tuesday morning, and no help arrived for more than 30 minutes after the first 911 call.
The OEM says city cooling centers at senior centers, libraries and community centers will be open through Thursday.