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Mayor Michelle Wu declares heat emergency for city

The heat emergency will be in effect starting Tuesday through Thursday, when temperatures are forecast to reach into the mid-to-high 90s.

Erin Clark / Boston Globe, File

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu announced Monday that a heat emergency will be in effect for the city this week as temperatures are forecast to reach the mid-to-high 90s.

The heat emergency will begin Tuesday and be in place through Thursday, when forecasters are predicting “oppressive heat and humidity” will bear down on the region. The National Weather Service said the stretch of weather could be the area’s first heat wave of the season. 

“The peak is on Wednesday and Thursday when it will be oppressive,” the service said Monday.

According to the forecasters, in Boston on Tuesday, the heat index is predicted to reach the low 90s, and on Wednesday and Thursday, it will feel as hot as 96 and 98 degrees, respectively.

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“We’re working quickly to make sure all of our Boston residents and families are protected during this week’s extreme weather,” Wu said in a statement. “It is clear that a changing climate is a risk to our health and communities. I urge everyone to stay cool and safe, and check on your neighbors during the week. I’m thankful for the many City employees who are preparing for this emergency and will be responding to calls for service throughout our neighborhoods.”

To help residents beat the heat, the city is opening cooling centers at 12 Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF) community centers on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. With the rising number of COVID-19 cases, officials are urging individuals to wear masks inside the cooling centers. 

In addition, the city said more than 50 splash pads will be open at parks and playgrounds and certain BCYF pools will also be open. 

“The Boston Public Schools is encouraging students and their families to prepare for hot weather this week by staying well hydrated and dressing appropriately,” the city said in a statement. “Families are welcome to send their children to their respective summer programs, which will provide students with water and meals. Additionally, the majority of summer sites are equipped with air conditioning and fans will be delivered to sites in need of cooling.”

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Wu urged the public to stay hydrated, keep an eye out for the signs of heat exhaustion, and check on any elderly neighbors or people with disabilities during the heat, among other tips. 

The mayor said the city is working with a network of shelter providers to ensure those struggling with homelessness have adequate shelter, food, water, and access to cool respite from the heat. 

View the city’s full list of tips during the heat here.

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