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Ossining Hammered By Heat

OSSINING, N.Y. – Many Briarcliff Manor and Ossining residents headed to the pool or into air-conditioned buildings as temperatures neared the triple-digit mark Wednesday.

But some had no choice but to deal with the sweltering heat. The Westchester County Health Department issued a heat advisory this week, letting residents know that temperatures could rise into the upper 90s and that residents should stay indoors if possible.

Ossining’s Luis Chuchuca, a construction worker currently finishing a project at a house on James Street, and dozens of others had to work outside Wednesday. For them, getting out of the heat wasn’t an option.

“You drink a lot of liquid and you just have to keep going,” Chuchuca said, later laughing that 100 degrees is not a big deal. “You just have to keep working. I think in previous years we have had some hotter weather, but this is close.”

As a site foreman, Chuchuca said he always advises the men working for him to constantly drink water and stay in the shade as much as possible.

“When it gets bad, you have to go to the shade,” he said. “If you do that and drink water, you will be fine. When it’s hot, you just deal with it.”

Those who didn’t have to work outside Wednesday got a break from the Briarcliff Manor Recreation Department. The Briarcliff Pool in Law Memorial Park opened early to accommodate people looking to cool off.

“Generally, this time of year we wouldn’t open until 3 p.m., but with the weather and because we had the staff, we were able to open at noon,” said Henry Jamin, Parks and Recreation superintendent. “We’re constantly tracking the weather at the department. [The response] has been very positive and it seems like people are very happy.”

Hundreds of students at Todd Elementary School and their parents headed to the pool Wednesday as part of a fifth-grade graduation ceremony. Several of the students said they were thankful they didn’t have to be in class. Not because they don’t want to be in school, but because some classrooms lack air conditioning.

“We have a huge fan in our room, but it’s so hot. It’s terrible,” said 9-year-old Abbey Hertz. “This is so much better.”

Jennifer Harris, 9, agreed.

“It’s really hot outside, so it feels really good to be in the pool,” Jennifer said, adding that she knows exactly what she would do without the pool. “I’d probably sit by a fan in my house all day.”

Jill Hertz said the pool is a welcome relief for families looking to cool down on hot days.

“We love this pool and think it’s the best. It’s a really great neighborhood thing and we always have fun,” she said. “With the kids, you have to keep them cool and hydrated and make sure they get some time in the shade.”

Ten-year-old Ben Harris said if he didn’t have the pool, he would think of other ways to stay cool.

“It’s hot. I haven’t felt like this in a while, so the pool is great,” Ben said, “but I’d probably run through a sprinkler outside.” 

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