Long Islanders went to public cooling centers or beaches to beat Wednesday's heat.
Temperatures topped out at 92 degrees Wednesday at Islip's Long Island MacArthur Airport. Despite the high, the Island is not suffering from a heat wave -- a designation that is only reached when the mercury at least reaches 90 degrees for three straight days, according to the National Weather Service in Upton.
Nassau County had 20 cooling centers open Wednesday.
Nearly 20 people were at the Uniondale-Hempstead Senior Center in Uniondale Wednesday afternoon. Several women played board games in the recreation hall while back in the kitchen Marcus Seabrook, 65, sat talking with the chef. Seabrook, who has had glaucoma in both eyes for nearly 14 years, said the heat and humidity make his condition worse.
"You have this blur, this haze . . . when the humidity is high," Seabrook said.
Outside the center, some people embraced the heat. Alexander Antoine, 70, scooped paint from a steel pan to repaint the faded yellow lines of the 30 parking spaces in the lot at the United Methodist Church of Uniondale. Antoine, the vice chairman of the church's board of trustees, is volunteering his service.
"The heat doesn't bother me," said Antoine, who worked for nearly five hours Wednesday. "I'm used to this. It's my church and the good Lord said you're supposed to work for your church. I believe in that."
But for Yvonne Lannaman, 63, the heat poses physical challenges, so she visits the Uniondale senior center four days a week to keep cool. Her brick home in Hempstead doesn't have air-conditioning.
"I don't adjust to the heat well," Lannaman said, as she listened to light jazz and cooled off in the recreational hall. "When it gets too hot, I have problems with sun stroke and heat stroke. So trying to stay cool is a challenge."
On Fridays, she and others from the center visit Lido Beach, where the ocean breeze cools them down.
About 72,000 people visited Long Island beaches Wednesday, state parks spokesman George Gorman said. That number is on par with average attendance for a summer weekday, he said.
Paul Proscia, 68, of Northport, said the beach at Robert Moses State Park was sweltering when he and his family arrived at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. But a breeze picked up around 10:30 a.m., and kept them comfortable in their beach chairs until they left around 4 p.m.
"We just went into the water," he said. The heat "wasn't that bad at the ocean."
Chicago siblings Eva Kandel, 11, and Nikolai Kandel, 10, were visiting their aunt, Mary Kay Lynch, 57, of Deer Park, and said they didn't mind the weather. They were just happy to play in the ocean at Robert Moses.
"We came to go boogie boarding and hang out," Eva said.
Despite the temperature, Field 3's first aid station saw no heat-related illnesses, said Patrick Donegan, the park's on-duty EMT.
But at the Fire Island Lighthouse, volunteers said the heat affected foot traffic. Visitors have decreased over the past couple of days, volunteer Dan Urban said, probably because the high temperatures make the hike to the lighthouse too difficult for some.
"I think everyone is staying where the air-conditioning is," he said.
Gorman said the parks didn't expect to see much change in overall attendance numbers.
"It's not like 30 years ago, when people would flock to the beaches because there wasn't as much air-conditioning in homes," he said. "We don't set records anymore."