LI sizzles toward day five of heat wave

Westbound Sunrise Highway in Bay Shore buckled, prompting Westbound Sunrise Highway in Bay Shore buckled, prompting the closure of one lane between exits 43 and 42 for emergency repairs, Suffolk County police said. (July 17, 2013) Photo Credit: James Carbone

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Long Island is in for a fifth day of sizzling heat Thursday, with a heat advisory in effect from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. The advisory is issued when the heat index -- which shows how hot it really feels, given the humidity level -- is expected to reach 100 to 104 degrees.

Relief is due to start kicking in Saturday with the potential for strong to severe storms preceding a cold front, the weather service said.

But in the meantime, high temperatures for Thursday and Friday are forecast to be in the low 90s, and Friday it may feel like 105 degrees at some point with rising humidity, said Mike Silva, weather service meteorologist in Upton.

The temperature was 84 degrees just after 8 a.m. Thursday in Islip.

Friday "does look to be dangerously hot," he said, mainly for Nassau and western Suffolk.

The temperature at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma hit 93 on Wednesday afternoon, just shy of the record 94 for that day. Temperatures hit 93 on Wednesday in Shirley and Farmingdale, with heat indexes of 96.

Wednesday's heat affected another major roadway, with the westbound Sunrise Highway in Bay Shore buckling a day after the same problem occurred on the westbound Long Island Expressway near Exit 68 in Manorville.

An air quality health advisory, issued by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, was in effect for Long Island Wednesday through 11 p.m. with another advisory issued for Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

A little more than 2,000 customers were temporarily without power Wednesday afternoon as the heat wave continued to put stress on the electric system. As of 3:15 p.m., LIPA's peak load had reached 5,423 megawatts, still well below its top capacity of around 6,300 megawatts, but nearing the six-year high reached Monday of 5,552 megawatts.

LIPA spokesman Mark Gross said around 20,000 customers had experienced an outage since the start of the heat wave.

The state Health Department advised limiting strenuous outdoor activity, particularly those most sensitive, the very young and those with respiratory problems, such as asthma and heart disease.

And while heat exhaustion and dehydration don't seem to be bringing people to his hospital, more indirect heat-related issues are, said Dr. Alan Kaplan, director of emergency medicine at Plainview Hospital. He said there has been an uptick in people coming in for treatment with underlying conditions such as diabetes and asthma, which are aggravated by heat.

With Mark Harrington

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