CITY OF NEWBURGH – Two dollars for adults and one dollar for children.
That’s the price of admission for a two and a half hour session in the City of Newburgh Aquatic Center, and it sure sounded like a good bargain on Saturday.
Temperatures were pushing well into the 90s and the heat index or “feels like” temperature had reached 107 by mid-afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
Others were turning to another city resource for relief, putting their boats and personal water craft into the Hudson River at the boat launching ramp at the foot of Washington Street.
Amy Conklin brought her three kids to the city pool, which was filled to capacity.
“It’s beautiful,” Conklin said of the aquatic center. “This gives the kids in Newburgh something to do.”
Oriel Brown of Newburgh was relaxing on a lounge chair with a towel over his head at the aquatic center while his son Kaden, 11, splashed around in the pool. Oriel was going into the pool periodically himself, just enough to stay cool.
“It’s working,” he said of his strategy.
“The water is cold, but when you get in, it feels so good,” said Leslie Hunter of New Windsor, another parent who was taking an occasional dip in the pool, then cooling off under an umbrella.
In addition to having extended hours at the pool and opening the Activity Center in Recreation Park as a cooling center on Saturday, the city also opened hydrants behind the activity center, and at South Lander Street and Overlook Place in the Washington Heights neighborhood, to help residents cool off.
Meanwhile, Newburgh’s boat-launching ramp was seeing a steady stream of traffic as people brought their boats and personal water craft to spend some time cooling off on the Hudson River.
That included Nicholas Wells, a city Recreation Department employee who launched his Yamaha wave runner shortly before noon.
“I don’t know how long I’m going to be out there, but it’s going to be a hot one today,” Wells said.
Olga and Oren Abuhasria came all the way from New Jersey to enjoy a day boating on the Hudson.
“We’re headed to this beach we like down in Cold Spring,” Olga Abuhasria said.
Several other boaters also were headed for Cold Spring, while Ronnie DeGroodt of Walden was heading his boat toward the Rondout Creek in Kingston.
Joe Sangricoli of Middletown, who was preparing to launch his personal water craft, spoke fondly of both the river and the city he once called home.
“I grew up on this river,” said Sangricoli, who was born at what was then known only as St. Luke’s Hospital in Newburgh. “This is one of the best attractions in Newburgh.”