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Heat Index Could Break 100 Degrees This Week

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The next few days are going to be a scorcher for New England. 
The National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y., has issued a heat advisory from noon to Tuesday to 8 p.m. on Thursday.
Temperatures are expected in the low 90s but the high humidity could spike the heat index to 105 degrees. 
Numerous agencies and meteorologists are offering guidance on staying cool and out of the sun. Local cooling centers include libraries and senior centers. 
Misting fans will be located at Persip Park and the Ralph J. Froio Senior Center during daytime hours Tuesday through Friday; the senior center will open from 8 to 4 but closed for the Wednesday holiday.
The North Adams library will be opend from 10 to 5 Tuesday and Thursday and the Mary Spitzer Senior Center from 8 to 4; the splash pad at Noel Field will be open. 
"Extreme heat can pose health challenges, particularly for our more vulnerable populations such as older adults, children and those with chronic health conditions," said Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Dawn Brantley. "We encourage residents to plan ahead and take common-sense steps to protect against heat-related illnesses, including staying hydrated, keeping out of the sun, checking on elderly neighbors and being aware of nearby cooling centers."  
Most heat-related illnesses occur because the victim has been over-exposed to heat or has over-exercised for his or her age and physical condition. Although anyone can suffer from a heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Those at greater risk include older adults, young children and those who are sick or overweight. To reduce the risks of extreme heat conditions, MEMA urges to take the proper safety precautions to protect yourself and your family. 
Wear light clothing, reduce activity, don't leave children or pets in cars, stay inside or in the shade as much as possible (pets, too), drink lots of water, avoid alcohol and caffeine drinks, and take frequent breaks.
"We are encouraging anyone who has to work outside, including our highway crews, to take steps to keep themselves safe, especially Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. "The traveling public should also be aware that the operation of certain transportation infrastructure, especially moveable bridges, may be adversely impacted by the heat."
The state Department of Transportation is advising travelers to check their vehicles before leaving on trips to ensure radiators have sufficient coolant and that other fluid levels are keeping with safe operation.?It's also advising to plan trips during the cooler times of the day and to pack water. 
Eversource says its prepared for a jump in power needs, noting customers use about 40 percent more electricity to keep cool "when the mercury soars."
"Our crews are focused on working safely to ensure reliable electric service for our customers year-round, especially during these hot and humid days when many customers will have their fans and AC units running in full force," said Eversource President of Regional Electric Operations Craig Hallstrom. "We begin preparing well in advance for the increased demand we typically see this time of year by conducting ground and aerial inspections of the electrical system so we can proactively detect and address any issues."
To manage energy use, he suggests keeping air conditioners as low as comfortable and vents clear; use major appliances during cooler hours; keep blinds or curtains closed; use LED lights and set ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise and turn them off when leaving the room. 

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Pittsfield Starbucks Closed Temporarily

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff

A sign outside the coffee shop assures customers the closure is only temporary. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Your alarm goes off, you get ready, and you leave for school, work, or whatever your appointment a little bit early to get a cup of coffee to start your day, only to find that the Pittsfield Starbucks, located at  555 Hubbard Ave., is closed. 
The sign has been removed, and the drive-through is blocked, but Starbucks coffee addicts need not worry — this closure is only temporary. 
The coffee shop closed its doors temporarily on July 7 to undergo a standard renovation with the chain's new Siren System, a Starbucks spokesperson said. 
According to the signage, the reopening date is projected to be Aug. 21. 
According to its website, the Siren System is part of the chain's Starbucks Reinvention plan, which aims to improve the experience for partners and staff by responding to changing needs and increasing demands. 
"As a standard course of business, we continually evaluate our store portfolio using various criteria to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers," the spokesperson said. 
The chain's article on unveiling its innovations said, "Over the past few years, the number of cold beverages ordered has surpassed the number of hot drinks year-round. And, two in three drinks ordered have requested customizations such as extra espresso shots and flavorings."
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