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Heat & humidity grip WNY

Western New York continues to bake under high heat and humidity.  Temperatures topped the 90-degree mark in many areas Wednesday and the National Weather Service says conditions will continue through Friday.  A heat advisory was issued for the region as the heat index approached 100 degrees.

The New York Independent System Operator says temperatures over 90-degrees throughout the state has  pushed the demand for electricity to near-record levels.  Spokesman David Flanagan is urging consumers to conserve electricity when possible.

“Setting your air conditioner a little higher, not using your major appliances during the peak hours of the day…those types of things,” Flanagan said.

Scattered power outages were reported in Erie and Niagara counties Wednesday.  

In response to the heat, the City of Buffalo has opened three air conditioned cooling centers to help residents cope with the heat.  Residents can visit the Richmond/Summer Senior Center, Schiller Park Senior Center and CRUCIAL on Moselle Street to  escape the heat.  The city's 11 splash pads are also open along with all city pools.

Hot, sultry weather can also be very difficult for animals.  Pet owners are warned to keep a close watch on their pets. Erie County SPCA public relations director Gina Browning says it's also important to watch for any dogs that might be left outside for extended periods of time.

“People also need to be aware of dogs who are left outside with no shade or shelter,” Browning said.

The oppressive heat can be hotter to a dog than a human.  Heat stroke can set in for dogs in five to ten minutes.