Philadelphia heat: Summer begins dangerously hot as city activates resources to help residents

The Philadelphia area is welcoming summer with a hot bang.

"It’s the first day of summer and it gave us a hot one. It’s extreme heat," stated Charlotte Merrick, Communications Director for Philadelphia Parks and Rec.

With the extreme heat index values, the city’s interim health commissioner declared a Heat Health Emergency, in effect through Sunday. That declaration activates the city’s emergency heat programs with cooling centers and extended hours.


Philadelphia heat wave: Heat Health Emergency in effect through Sunday

The City of Philadelphia declared a Heat Health Emergency and it runs through Sunday as oppressive temperatures drape the region.

"We have 17 cooling centers around the city. They’ll be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Sunday," Merrick explained. "That’s a little different for rec centers that aren’t normally open on the weekends."

People are taking full advantage of the opportunity to stay cool in the oppressive temperatures, like at the East Passyunk Recreation Center, where parents are bringing kids to cool off.

"They are having a wonderful time," Makedda Byrd, with Colorful Crayons for Autism, said. "what kids doesn’t love sprinklers in the summertime? Playing in water is so fun and a good exercise for children. It really is."

She continued, "We know that small children and older adults are particularly vulnerable to extreme heat, so it’s really important to have these free sites where you can come and take care of yourself and get out of the heat."

If you're in Philadelphia, cool off at one of several public pools opening this week.

For more tips to stay cool, including finding cooling centers, visit FOX 29's Staying Cool during this Heat Wave page, here.