July 21, 2008

People Attracted to the Hot Spots to Keep Cool

By Drake Lucas, The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.

Jul. 19--People early yesterday were laying claim to spots at Hampton Beach in New Hampshire in hopes of getting relief from the oppressive heat.

"There's a good crowd up here today," said Joe Bolis at the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce. "Does anybody work on Fridays?"

The high was around 90 yesterday, with temperatures today expected in the mid-90s and "oppressive" humidity, according to meteorologist Charles Foley at the National Weather Service in Taunton, Mass.

Foley said tomorrow should be cooler, in the 80s, with thundershowers chasing away the humidity in parts of the Merrimack Valley.

Maria Miles, president of the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce, said she expects a steady flow of visitors throughout the weekend for the Merrimack River Maritime Festival, which includes chowder and beer, a band, fireworks and tours of three tall ships docked at the beach.

Miles said people were already filling the beach yesterday, taking advantage of a nice sea breeze.

"We are the Cape of the Valley, but it's a less crowded beach than the Cape so you can still get in here," Miles said.

Higgins Pool on Crawford Street in Lawrence opened yesterday after vandalism shut the pool for a day. The pool had to be cleaned up after vandals threw food against the wall and threw a lawn mower, picnic table, first-aid dummy and garbage into the water.

Officials took down the "no swimming signs" at Forest Lake in Methuen this week after closing it the week before because of high bacteria levels. City officials said the water is safe for swimming now.

In New Hampshire, environmental officials said unhealthy air could bother residents in some parts of the state.

The state said people sensitive to pollution could be affected by the air quality, especially in the three southernmost counties today. Air quality is expected to improve tomorrow.

Also today, New Hampshire residents can seek out cool spots with free access to Franconia Notch Park attractions on Rediscover Franconia Notch Day.

Gov. John Lynch designated today as the day to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the discovery of the Flume Gorge, the park's 80th anniversary and the 70th anniversary of the Cannon Mountain aerial tramway. Lynch will kick off the day with a walk through the Flume, followed by a ride to the summit of Cannon Mountain.

People can prove residency by presenting a New Hampshire driver's license or other state identification.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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