NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

July 6, 2013

Locals search for Heat Relief

Local beaches are packed, parking lots are filling up, and roads to the beaches are experiencing big traffic jams as thousands flock to the area to beat the heat.

But with temperatures expected to stay in the 90s through the weekend, there are also dangers of heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

Yesterday, the National Weather Service issued a heat advisory through 8 p.m., recommending that people drink plenty of fluids and stay out of the sun whenever possible. Similar advisories are likely this weekend.

If the beach is still on the agenda for the weekend, bring plenty of water, sunblock, and a hat and umbrella to block harmful rays. And get there early.

Both David Sheafer of Salisbury Discount House on Salisbury Beach and Jean Adams, outdoor recreation planner at the Parker River Wildlife Refuge, report that the shores were packed with sun seekers all day Thursday and yesterday.

“It’s extra-busy,” Sheafer said. “It’s a big crowd. The parking lots were all filled to capacity.”

Sheafer said he also noticed a huge line of cars waiting to get into the Salisbury Beach State Reservation. At times, traffic backed up for about two miles on Route 110 heading toward Salisbury Beach, and along Beach Road.

Sheafer’s store has been packed with patrons stocking up on beach supplies, including boogie boards, umbrellas and beach chairs. He even had to move up his delivery of goods, receiving a truckload of items to refill the shelves yesterday.

“Everybody’s happy that the sun’s out,” he said.

On Plum Island, Adams said the parking lots had to be shut down at different times both Thursday and yesterday. On Thursday, they were “full to capacity” at 9:30 a.m.

“That’s the earliest I can remember ever closing the refuge,” she said.

Adams did note that the turnover has been pretty quick due to the heat.

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