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Heat Wave Sends Wilton To The Beach

WILTON, Conn. – It’s officially summertime: The heat has rolled in with a vengeance, causing Wilton families to run to the waterfront.

But with the National Weather Service reporting heat index highs of 101 on Wednesday, it may have been too hot even for the beach. Thursday isn’t expected to be much better, with a high of about 98 degrees.

At a full Merwin Meadows on Wednesday, Wilton resident Laurie Mortensen said she had to be at the eighth-grade yearbook signing party, but she would have preferred to have been at home in air conditioning.

The heat, she said, “takes you by surprise.” But she was happy to be beach with the nearly 200 eighth-graders who were celebrating the end of the school year.

According to 18-year-old lifeguard Jon Massari, even if the party hadn’t been at the beach Wednesday, it still would have been crowded. “It’s a lot, especially for a weekday,” he said. Massari said usually only two lifeguards are “on the chair” watching the water, but by the time he arrived for work at 11 a.m., there were already three.

Wilton Family Y Executive Director Bob McDowell said the pond would be open earlier but he thought most people would want to be at home.

And with the heat comes advice. Wilton Fire Chief Paul Milositz said the age-old advice of keeping hydrated and wearing protective clothes or sunscreen is especially true in heat waves. The Wilton Library and Trackside will be open until 8 p.m. Thursday for those in need of some cool air, said Milositz, director of the Emergency Operations Center for Wilton.

The Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection recommends avoiding strenuous activities, staying on the lowest floor of your home if you don’t have air conditioning with electric fans and staying indoors as much as possible.

Residents with pets are also reminded to not leave their animals outside for extended periods and to keep them as hydrated as you keep yourself.

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