Thousands of customers were without electricity Sunday as a heat wave caused scattered outages and an increase in hospital visits, officials said.
Nearly 6,000 customers did not have electricity as of about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, up from the approximately 2,000 without power that closed the day Saturday, according to PSEG Long Island.
More than 600 crews were working to address the Sunday night outages, PSEG LI spokeswoman Elizabeth Flagler said.
“We’re right in the peak right now, but we’ve been able to stay right on top of outages as they come in,” Flagler said, adding there is “hardly any backlog.”
An outage map showed some customers were expected to have power restored by 3 a.m. Monday, though Flagler said electricity could be back earlier than the estimated times.
Earlier Sunday, the utility company had estimated power would be restored by 6:15 p.m. for Nassau and Suffolk and 4 p.m. for the Rockaway Peninsula.
With a high of 95 degrees Sunday and a heat index value up to 110, taking humidity into consideration, the National Weather Service expected to keep an excessive heat warning in effect through 8 p.m.
The weather service warned that the extreme heat can quickly cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke among the at-risk population who can’t stay cool.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat, heavy sweating, faintness, dizziness, fatigue, weak, rapid pulse, low blood pressure upon standing, muscle cramps, nausea and headache, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Heat stroke, however, is more serious than heat exhaustion, and symptoms may include high body temperature, confusion, slurred speech, irritability, delirium, seizures and coma, alteration in sweating, nausea and vomiting, flushed skin, rapid breathing, racing heart rate and a headache, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Hospitals were seeing an increase in heat-related patients over the weekend, according to Catholic Health Services of Long Island.
“We treated an increased number of patients with heat-related complaints yesterday [syncope, fatigue, dehydration],” said Dr. Christopher Raio, the Rockville Centre-based agency’s chairman of emergency medicine. “Some doing work outside, some actually from the beach, and a few elderly with no AC at home. We expect the same today.”
Stony Brook University Hospital had one heat-related emergency department visit Saturday, spokeswoman Kali Chan said.
Northwell spokeswoman Diane O’Donnell said on Sunday, “So far we have had 30 patients come to our Long Island EDs yesterday from heat-related complaints with eight admitted.”
While the temperature soars into the mid-90s, even the low temperatures are high.
According to the National Weather Service, Saturday night’s low of 78 degrees was a record high temperature tied with the record for that date set on July 20, 2013. A weather service spokesman said that temperature has been tied a few times since 2013.
George Gorman, the regional director for Long Island for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said state parks and beaches were crowded Saturday but didn’t reach capacity and he expected the same for Sunday. A spokeswoman for Nassau County also said its beaches were not at capacity.