Published July 2, 2021
MELROSE — Things have cooled off considerably from where they were mid-week, but you can bet we haven’t seen the last of the summer heat.
As the state entered its second heat wave of 2021 Monday, city officials urged residents to keep themselves safe, and to do what they can to help fight climate change. Temperatures reached 95 degrees or above from Monday through Wednesday with heat indices up as high as 106 degrees.
“It’s going to get really hot this week, which puts our vulnerable residents at risk, but also gives us an opportunity to curb energy use when it matters most,” said Mayor Paul Brodeur Monday.
Vulnerable groups include small children, older adults, outdoor workers, pregnant people, and outdoor workers. For those able to go, the city had what it called a Splash Bash on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Firefighters used fire hoses to spray water from a hydrant up into the air at Fred Green Field as a way to help beat the heat. There was music and the Recreation Department set up pop-up tents to provide shade for anyone who needed a break from the fun.
The Mayor’s Office issued a release outlining tips to keep cool and stay safe.
• Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle, even with the windows cracked.
• Stay hydrated.
• Eat balanced, light, regular meals.
• Limit time in the sun, and always use sun protection.
• Avoid strenuous activity.
• Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing.
• Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions, those who may need additional assistance, and those who may not have air conditioning.
• Cool off at the Lawrence W. Lloyd Memorial Swimming Pool on Tremont Street (open 11:45 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.) or the Melrose Public Library (open Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
• Recognize the signs of heat-related illness. These include heat stroke (body temperature 103 degrees or higher, fast pulse, confusion) and heat exhaustion (heavy sweating, cold and clammy skin, muscle cramps). Move to a cool place, loosen your clothes and, if possible, take a cool bath.
“We are seeing the impacts of climate change in the here and now. Last summer was the hottest on record, and it’s a trend that is likely to continue if we don’t take action,” said Melrose’s Sustainability Manager Martha Grover. “Extreme heat events pose an imminent health risk for our vulnerable residents and also put a lot of stress on our energy grid.”
Grover stated that on extreme heat days, the grid operator is sometimes forced to turn to more expensive and less clean forms of energy to meet the high electricity demand. This happens during a period of a few hours when most people are using air conditioning, typically between 1 and 7 p.m.
“There is a lot we as individuals can do to help shave the peak during those high-demand hours,” said Brodeur. “Turning the A/C up a few degrees, or waiting until the late evening to run the dishwasher or washing machine are all small things that can make a big difference.”
For more information about peak energy demand or to sign up for conservation alerts on peak days, visit Green Energy Consumers Alliance’s website. To track system demand and fuel mix in real time, visit https://www.iso-ne.com/ and download the ISO TO GO app.