hot weather

It was hot Friday. And today will be hotter, with a real temperature in the 90s and high humidity.

In response, Mayor Bill Aiello said that Olean city pools will be opened for extended hours Saturday through Sunday. In addition, the John J. Ash Community Center will be available if residents need a facility with air conditioning.

“The weather forecast has the heat index reaching the 100-plus degree mark over the weekend and I am pleased that the staff at both pools — the “big pool” at the recreation center and the wading pool at Franchot Park — were able to adjust schedules to keep the pools open an additional hour each,” the mayor says.

Both pools will be open noon to 6 p.m.

In addition, a procedure is in place to open the John J. Ash Community Center, 112 N. Barry St., as a cooling station from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

“Olean is a very caring community, and I want to thank our police and fire departments, the youth and recreation staff, the senior center staff and Rev. Kim Rossi of the Greater Olean Association of Churches for helping put this plan in motion,” Aiello says. “I also urge residents to be mindful of the heat and if they need a place to cool down to please stop by the cooling station.”

The National Weather Service in Buffalo issued a heat advisory through 6 p.m. Saturday for Cattaraugus and Allegany counties, as well as most of Western New York, with the heat index as high as 105.

Prolonged exposure or any strenuous activity may lead to heat related illnesses that require immediate medical attention, the NWS indicated. Vehicle interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.

“Never leave children, pets or the elderly unattended in parked vehicles,” an NWS warning states. “Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun and check in on relatives and neighbors.”

The NWS urges everyone to take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside — when possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light-weight and loose-fitting clothing and, again, drink plenty of water.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reminds employers to protect their employees from the dangers of working in hot weather.

Employers should do the following:

  • Encourage workers to drink water every 15 minutes, and take frequent rest breaks in the shade to cool down;
  • Develop an emergency plan that explains what to do when a worker shows signs of heat-related illness;
  • Train workers on the hazards of heat exposure, and how to prevent illness; and
  • Allow workers to build a tolerance for working in heat.