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Long Island

Ocean Parkway re-opens as LI tries to stay cool

Simon Szymek of Lindenhurst splashes in the waves

Simon Szymek of Lindenhurst splashes in the waves at Robert Moses State Park. Photo Credit: John Dunn

The state park beaches are not seeing the overwhelming crowds Monday as they did on July Fourth, although the high temperatures are drawing crowds, causing the closure of some fields early in the day.

The problems were compounded when a brush fire caused officials to shut down Ocean Parkway in both directions before 2:15 p.m., cutting off access to Robert Moses State Park for thousands of would-be beachgoers. The Parkway re-opened roughly an hour and a half later.

As of 11:30 a.m., Jones Beach's traffic was moderate, and Fields 2 and 6 were closed. At Robert Moses beaches, Fields 3 and 5 were closed before the fire.

Sunken Meadow traffic is not as heavy as Sunday when the beach had to be closed early in the day. Heckscher State Park was seeing moderate traffic in the morning.

Park officials said lifeguard hours will be extended one hour until 8 p.m. Monday and for the rest of the week.

Temperatures will reach the mid-90s Monday, and will be even a little higher Tuesday, toward the upper 90s, according to the National Weather Service in Upton.

The heat has caused an air quality alert for all of Long Island, according to the NWS. Humidity on Long Island is hovering at about 50 percent, enough to make it uncomfortable. The humidity level could reach 80 percent for the morning hours on Tuesday.

People should stay indoors as much as possible, and they should "hydrate, hydrate, hydrate" according to Dr. Steven Walerstein, medical director at Nassau University Medical Center. Those most affected by the heat are children and the elderly, and those with underlying medical conditions, he said.

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