Summer's here; 'Beat the heat' at Town of Hempstead facilities


Summer officially begins June 20, and with it comes a heat wave that is expected to last through this weekend. The Town of Hempstead is doing its part to help keep residents safe and cool, offering extended beach and pool hours, and a variety of places people can go to get out of the sun and “beat the heat.”

The heat wave — which began unseasonably early on June 18 — has affected most of the northeast. It has left most of the tri-state area in an “extreme caution” zone, meaning the heat index could be as high as 103 degrees. The heat index is a measure of how hot it really feels outside, taking things like humidity and temperature into account.

When out in the sun, a person could perceive the temperature as being higher by up to 15 degrees. In New York City and Long Island, the highest heat index in the forecast is 98 degrees on Friday, June 21.

And while the heat wave should break sometime this weekend; another one may be on its tail. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s climate outlook is again projecting “hotter than usual” conditions across the U.S. between June 29 and July 12, including areas affected by the current one.

At a June 17 news conference, standing alongside Town Clerk Kate Murray, and three lifeguards at Veterans Memorial Par, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin said while in the sun, temperatures will likely feel over 100 degrees throughout the end of this week and weekend.

“In the Town of Hempstead, we not only have great lifeguards, but we have amenities that are going to help cool you down,” he said.

To “beat the heat,” Town of Hempstead beaches — which normally close at 6 p.m. — are open to 7 p.m. throughout the heat wave’s duration. Pools, like the ones in Veterans Memorial Park, normally close at 7 p.m., and are also open one additional hour, closing at 8 p.m.

“It’s a great opportunity for when the kids are getting out of school, maybe you’re getting out of work a little bit late, to beat the heat,” he said. “These are generally temperatures we see in July and August, but we want to do right by the residents who do right by us.”

It is not just the pools and beaches that people can visit to cool down, Clavin said. Senior centers around the municipality are also serving as cooling centers and are open from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Times may be adjusted, according to the temperature outside.

Senior centers in Baldwin, Bellmore, Elmont, Franklin Square, Levittown, Oceanside, Roosevelt, and Salisbury are all operating as cooling centers.

With such warm weather, Clavin advised exercising caution, by doing things like wearing sunscreen, and monitoring your time outside.

“Be prepared,” he said. “Make sure you’re hydrated and in addition to that, let’s not forget about our little ones — our dogs and our cats. Don’t leave them outside. Temperatures are going to be extreme. Make sure that they have water and some shade as well.

“It’s a transition week,” he added. “You have a lot of schools that are either going full down to half day. We want to make sure you’re aware of it. You have your options here at the beaches, at our pools.”

Summer is in full swing after Thursday, and Clavin said the last thing anyone wants to hear about is a tragedy. Even though hours will return to normal once the heat wave ends, summer facilities are open, and staying safe is key.

“We always want to hear it was a great day down at our beach, catching a wave — we don’t want tragedy,” he said. “These are simple steps that everybody needs to remember — hydrating, cooling centers, extended hours, sunscreen, a hat. Whatever it may be.”

All information about Town of Hempstead pools and beaches can be found online at While all pools opened Father’s Day weekend, an accident involving an electrical worker at Newbridge Road Pool in Bellmore on June 14 has led to it close temporarily. Town officials are working closely with PSEG to resolve the problem and hope to open the pool soon. Clavin said those who attend that pool should pay attention to the Town of Hempstead’s social media sites, where you can find information regarding its closure and reopening.