The city of Peabody has taken a number of steps to keep residents safe from the blistering heat that has swept across the region over the past 24 hours, but it seems that the public was prepared to deal with it on their own.
The Torigian Community Life Center remained open more than four hours later than usual Wednesday night - remaining accessible to the community with its air-conditioning cranking until about 8:30 - but according to staff no one took advantage of the extended hours.
Still, they say it is better to be safe than sorry, and the plan is to do the same on Thursday as the mercury is expected to continue rising throughout the afternoon.
Residents who need transportation to the Life Center should contact them at (978) 531-2254 (ask for the Transportation Office) between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Transportation after those hours can be obtained by contacting the police department at (978) 531-1212.
Yesterday, Mayor Ted Bettencourt issued a statement urging residents to take every precaution against the dangerous heat, including tips on how to remain safe.
"We want to make sure that our Peabody residents, particularly our seniors, stay safe during this period of extreme heat," Bettencourt said in his statement.
The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for most of Central and Eastern Massachusetts from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with temperatures expected to reach the mid-90s again today. Heat index values are expected to be near or just above 100 for at least a few hours today around most of the region.
Along with basic tips such as staying hydrated and avoiding the outdoors as much as possible, the public is reminded to never leave pets or children in a car for any amount of time. According to National Weather Service, car interiors in this type of heat "can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes."