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May 22nd
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Heat wave prompts N.J. school closings

sunheat060811_optBY ALICIA CRUZ

The official start of summer is nine days away, but the heat is on in New Jersey, prompting administrators to close schools early across the state Wednesday due to record-breaking scorching temperatures.

A hot and humid air mass is causing temperatures to soar into the high 90s for the next few days, and combined with the high humidity it's a situation ripe for heat-induced illness.

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat watch for Wednesday and Thursday as near 100-degree temperatures and high humidity could create dangerous health situations for New Jersey residents. In Manalapan, the heat index reached 101. The NWS heat advisory remains in effect through Wednesday Night with conditions warm and humid and the temperature at 69 degrees.

Schools in Tinton Falls, Barrington, Black Horse Pike Regional, Toms River, Deptford, Haddonfield, Lenape, Merchantville, and Gloucester Township all announced early dismissal schedules, the Courier Post reported.

The Woodbridge school district announced Tuesday night the early dismissal of high schools that began at 12noon; the middle schools at 12:45, elementary schools at 1:10 p.m. and kindergarten classes at 11:35 a.m., MyCentralJersey reported.

In a news release Wednesday, Newark Mayor Cory Booker urged residents to head for the City’s cooling centers, which were set up after heat advisories were issued for the city, NJ.com reported.

High concentrations of air pollution prompted a Code Orange Air Quality Alert from the Department of Environmental Protection today in Monmouth County. The high heat and humidity conditions can be especially dangerous during the afternoon and early evening hours in homes and buildings without air-conditioning. Children, asthma sufferers, senior citizens, the infirm, people suffering from lung and heart conditions and pets should remain in shaded or air-conditioned locations during these hours. Residents working outdoors should limit strenuous activity, drink plenty of fluids and seek shaded areas throughout the day.

An excessive heat warning for Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer counties is in effect until 8 p.m. tonight, MyFoxny reported. The Camden County Health Officer, Robert J. Smith, issued the Heat Alert for Camden County until 8:00 and from noon to 8:00 p.m. Thursday.


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