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Record temperatures expected Wednesday and Thursday

By JOLEEN FERRIS

MOHAWK VALLEY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Central New York is on the cusp of a heat wave that could last through Saturday, with possible record temperatures expected on Thursday.

While temperatures are expected to reach the record, 95 degrees, on Thursday, the heat index is expected to be in the triple digits. That's what the air temperature actually feels like and is calculated by a formula which adds humidity to air temperature.

Oneida County Health officials are warning central New Yorkers to avoid strenuous outdoor activity when the sun is strongest, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

They also warn people not to underestimate the power of the heat, and the damage it can do to your health.

"The thing is, the effects of the heat, often the onset is quite rapid," said Ken Fanelli of the Oneida County Health Department. "You might think that you're going to be able to withstand it; you might think that you can function in that heat and humidity but you might experience the problems I described and rather suddenly."

Fanelli points out that the very young and elderly, as well as those with respiratory ailments, are the ones most susceptible to the ill effects of the heat.

County health officials recommend wearing loose-fitting, light-colored clothing and drinking plenty of fluids, including water, sports drinks and juices.

They say diuretics such as coffee and tea do not help to hydrate the body in this excessive heat, nor does alcohol.

The Red Cross of the Mohawk Valley and Utica Chapters were already preparing cooling stations for the anticipated triple digit heat index on Thursday. Red Cross officials said both the Utica Chapter on Genesee Street and the Mohawk Valley Chapter on Prospect Street in Herkimer will have cooling stations open at their offices from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. Cold water will be available and people are encouraged to stop by for however long they need to in order to get out of the heat.

The City of Utica canceled ahead of time its parks and recreation programs Thursday in anticipation of the heat. The West Winfield Recreation Programs will also be closed Thursday due to the heat.

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