IT WAS HOT, HOT, HOT!
Temperatures soared well into the 90s as heat wave hit area
NORTHERN OCEAN COUNTY — The surf and sand of the Jersey Shore during the summer season offers hundreds of thousands of local residents and tourists alike a place to find some rest and relaxation in the sun.
However, with temperatures creeping well into the high 90s mixed with humidity — making the air feel like it was more than 100 degrees — even the beach was too hot to handle for those looking to find a place to cool down last weekend.
The heat wave that swept across Monmouth and Ocean counties started its reign in late June.
According to Tom Kines of AccuWeather, temperatures crept up into the 90s starting on June 28, and it did not cool off until earlier this week.
Temperatures ranged from 91 to 95 degrees in the last few days of June, went up to 97 degrees on July 1 and then dropped back down to the low 90s for the first few days of the month. On Saturday, July 7, however, temperatures skyrocketed again, when the high for the day clocked in at a scorching 99 degrees.
Things have cooled off a bit, and temperatures this week have stayed in the 80s.
WHERE, OH WHERE, IS THE AIR?
The heat wave, coupled with Saturday night’s strong storm, had residents around the Shore without much-needed air conditioning for a little while.
Jersey Central Power & Light [JCP&L] Area Manager John Anderson said there were “scattered” outage due to the heat wave this weekend, but nothing significant.
However, with the addition of Saturday evening’s storm, 75,000 JCP&L customers lost power — some until Monday afternoon.
Mr. Anderson said it was not clear how many outage were local in Ocean and Monmouth counties, as they were scattered throughout the region.
“We had some very strong storms that moved through the area on Saturday night and we had scattered power outage that were cleaned up by Monday afternoon,” Mr. Anderson said.
In Mantoloking, a downed wire during the heat wave and Saturday evening’s storm caused scattered outage, but none that lasted a day or more, Lt. John Barcus said this week.
It does not appear that anyone was “consistently out of power,” the lieutenant said.
While no first aid calls were made within town, several residents did call police headquarters with complaints about the power outage, Lt. Barcus said.
Still others left, if power went out at their summer residences, for their primary residences elsewhere, said Lt. Barcus.
outage occurred Thursday and Friday during the extreme heat when a wire was downed on a Forsythe Street front lawn in Bay Head, affecting both Bay Head and neighboring Mantoloking, reported both Lt. Barcus and Bay Head Police Sgt. Geoff Barger.
Saturday’s storm also brought an awning off of one borough home which landed on a neighboring house, according to the lieutenant. Power had to be disconnected temporarily to remove the awning, and downed wires occurred in other parts of town during the storm, he said.
The loss of power in Lavallette on Saturday night added problems to the brutal temperatures the Shore was experiencing. Lavallette operates its own electrical utility, but still receive its power from JCP&L.
The borough lost power from Saturday night until about 2 p.m. on Sunday. According to Councilman Lee Horan, the cause of the power outage could have been the high temperatures or a combination of many things this weekend.
Prior to that total shutdown, the electrical utility workers had reset more than one dozen transformer switches that had popped during the day — most likely due to the high temperatures — and had replaced four transformers, Councilman Horan said.
In light of the high temperatures, cooling stations were opened around town for residents who could not bear the heat without air conditioning.
However, despite the loss of air conditioning Saturday night, the beaches were packed this weekend.
Mayor Walter LaCicero said badge sales — seasonal, senior, weekly, daily and parking — were up “about 5 percent across the board” from last year’s numbers.
So far this year, the borough has brought in $566,951 in beach revenue. Last year’s amount at this time was $539,805.
MORE HEAT, MORE PROBLEMS
In Point Pleasant Beach, it was the heat, coupled with two holiday weekends and a holiday sandwiched in between, that caused a big jump in the amount of first aid calls the Point Pleasant First Aid & Emergency Squad responded to, according to squad Capt. Jonathan Miller.
Between Friday, June 29, and Sunday, July 8, the squad responded to more than 115 calls.
“Typically the Fourth of July weekend is one of our busiest — whether due to heat or dehydration — but this year was unique in that the Fourth was on a Wednesday,” Capt. Miller said. “I would assume that many people considered the weekend before the Fourth was the holiday weekend, while others considered the weekend after.”
BEATING THE HEAT
Just across the inlet in Manasquan, Beach Manager Wally Wall said during days as hot as Saturday, the local beach department may see a slight decrease in attendance at the beach.
“Years ago, everyone came to the beach if it was hot, but now, there is air conditioning,” Mr. Wall said.
In keeping the staff safe during extreme heat, Mr. Wall said though lifeguards often have to sit in their chair to watch over the beachgoers, they can take breaks to cool off in the water.
“They are right by the water and get the breeze,” Mr. Wall said. “Or, they take the boat out for water training.”
The beach badge checkers each bring their own “big jug of water or juice,” Mr. Wall said.
Beach staff will also drive by the various badge checkers in a golf car. On the golf cart are two large coolers — one with ice and hand towels, and one with ice and water. The golf cart also makes its rounds to the attendees at the beach parking lots to help them cool off.
The badge checkers, when they get too hot, can also take a brief break to shower off or swim.
At Main Beach, Manasquan residents Lauren Lemig and Morgan Neill, both 18, were checking in badges.
Ms. Lemig had a towel around her head to try and stay cool. Ms. Neill had a container of frozen Gatorade nearby.
“We take turns cooling off,” Ms. Neill said.
Both badge checkers agreed the sultry weather brought less people to the beach overall.
Ms. Lemig pointed out that Saturday’s patrons were primarily seasonal badge holders, as opposed to people purchasing a daily pass.
Another challenge for beachgoers on Saturday was walking on the sand.
“It’s, like, burning the bottom of your feet hot,” Ms. Neill said. “It is the biggest complaint of people coming off the beach.”
Mr. Wall said the ocean temperature has been around 70 degrees and many beach patrons have been enjoying spending time in the water.
“It is so clean and calm,” Mr. Wall said. “They can stay in for hours.”