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Heat, humidity to make it seem like 100 degrees

Gwen Titley | Tribune-Review - Seth Runatz from Robinson lays on a bench in West Park on July 15, 2013. Runatz frequents the park every week, usually on walks, but decided to rest on the bench because of the heat.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Gwen Titley | Tribune-Review</em></div>Seth Runatz from Robinson lays on a bench in West Park on July 15, 2013. Runatz frequents the park every week, usually on walks, but decided to rest on the bench because of the heat.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - Jayvon Thompson (left), 5, of Whittaker plays with his friend Paytra Flood (right), 6, of West Mifflin, at Sandcastle Water Park in West Homestead on Monday, July 15, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review</em></div>Jayvon Thompson (left), 5, of Whittaker plays with his friend Paytra Flood (right), 6, of West Mifflin, at Sandcastle Water Park in West Homestead on Monday, July 15, 2013.

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Beat the heat

The following cooling centers will offer extended hours on Tuesday:

Allegheny County

• Stephen Foster Community Center, 286 Main St., Lawrenceville, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Greenfield Healthy Active Living Center, 745 Greenfield Ave., 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Homewood Healthy Active Living Center, 7321 Frankstown Ave., 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, 5738 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• South Side Market House Healthy Active Living Center, S. 12th and Bingham streets, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Sheraden Healthy Active Living Center, 720 Sherwood Ave., 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Allegheny Valley Hospital's Charles Young Conference Center, 1301 Carlisle St., Natrona Heights, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Washington County

• Canonsburg Senior Center, 30 E. Pike St., 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Burgettstown Senior Center, 200 Senior Way, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Washington Senior Center, 69 W. Maiden St., 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Riverside Place, 303 Chamber Plaza, Charleroi, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Monongahela Senior Center, 102 W. Main St., Monongahela, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Center in the Woods, 130 Woodland Court, Brownsville, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Christina Gallagher
Monday, July 15, 2013, 11:30 a.m.

Bad news: Temperatures reached 90 on Monday for the first time this year and combined with stifling humidity across Western Pennsylvania, driving seniors to air-conditioned cooling centers and sending medics on heat-related emergencies.

Worse news: The heat is expected to linger. John Darnley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Moon, said humidity could make temperatures feel like 100. Daily highs aren't expected to drop back into the low 80s until Sunday, the weather service predicts.

“I sit in here and play cards and cool off,” said Dan Brown, 75, of Stanton Heights, one of about 70 seniors taking refuge inside the Homewood Healthy Active Living Center on Frankstown Avenue.

Pittsburgh's Citiparks parks and recreation department extended hours at four cooling centers Monday, including the one in Homewood and others in Greenfield, Sheraden and the South Side. They will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. The city extends cooling-center hours when the National Weather Service predicts the heat index will reach at least 90 degrees. That has happened 13 times this year, attracting nearly 5,300 seniors combined, said Dick Skrinjar, Citiparks' director of community services.

Skrinjar said the city spent more than $20,000 to provide extra staffing and food during the extended hours at the centers this year.

Despite the high temperatures, authorities reported few problems related to the heat.

Pittsburgh EMS District Chief Raymond Everitt said the city responded to “probably less than a dozen” heat-related emergency calls, none life-threatening.

“It was nothing more dramatic or out of the ordinary,” Everitt said.

Allegheny County spokeswoman Amie Downs said county authorities didn't see a jump in the number of emergency calls.

PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan said crews working outside took extra precautions. They were required to have ice water in their trucks and rotate flag workers regularly.

Dr. Raymond Pitetti, associated medical director of Children's Hospital's emergency department, urged people to drink a lot of water throughout the week — even when swimming.

“You're losing water from sweating and sitting out in the sun,” Pitetti said. “You still have fluid losses you need to make up. Even if you're swimming, you still need to hydrate.”

The temperatures of young children rise faster than those of adults, and kids become dehydrated more quickly than adults, he said.

He advised parents to keep infants under 6 months out of the sun.

The Western Pennsylvania Humane Society advises pet owners to keep their pets out of the sun when possible.

Dog owners should walk their pets in the morning and evening and have them walk on grass to avoid burning their paws.

Pets should never be left in cars when temperatures soar, the society said.

Christina Gallagher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5637.

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