Haverhill Opens Cooling Centers as Temps Climb Into 90s; Plug Pond Opens Friday

A view of Haverhill's Basiliere Bridge as seen from the Merrimack River. (WHAV News photograph by Jay Saulnier)

A view of Haverhill's Basiliere Bridge as seen from the Merrimack River. (WHAV News photograph by Jay Saulnier)

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini Tuesday announced the opening of several cooling centers citywide as the Merrimack Valley braces for combined temperatures and humidity that could make the area feel like 100 degrees. Fiorentini’s announcement comes on the heels of Superintendent James F. Scully’s decision to dismiss schools across the district early on a half-day schedule.

According to the Mayor’s office, the Swasey Field Spray Park on Blaisdell Street is open until 8 p.m. and the air-conditioned Citizens Center on Welcome Street serves as a cooling center until at least 4 p.m. Residents in need of respite after 4 p.m. should call the Haverhill Police non-emergency number at 978-373-1212 for assistance.

Other local options for respite include the Community Action Drop-in Center, 16 Ashland St., or the Common Grounds Café on Winter Street.

The city is prepping to open Plug Pond on Friday, June 22—if not sooner—for public swimming access, said Recreational Director Vincent Ouellette.

To stay cool, the American Red Cross suggests staying hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, keeping in mind that caffeine and alcohol may have a dehydrating effect. Loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing should be worn. Signs of heat exhaustion include pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness and weakness, the Red Cross said.