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Families take to Bushnell Park, cooling centers to beat Hartford heat

Temperatures in Hartford and surrounding communities reached into the 90s Saturday and are expected to continue through Sunday.

HARTFORD, Conn — Temperatures in many Connecticut communities peaked in the 90s Saturday including Hartford at 91 degrees.

The city opened cooling centers to give people a place to cool off. The Hartford Public Library was one of them. Culture and Communications Executive Director Brenda Miller said it gives people something to do as well.

"We can distract people from the heat quite well. We’ve got lovely books. We’ve got online computer access," she said. "We need these large public spaces available for people, particularly in our urban centers."

RELATED: Shoreline businesses prepare for hot weather influx

Many families took to Bushell Park to beat the heat. Carousel rides were free which attracted many children including those of Arunan Arulampalam. 

"It’s hot. Especially with little kids. It’s tough to find things to do. Everyone’s a little exhausted," the Hartford father said. "We carry around these big water bottles and make sure they keep drinking."

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Rhyan Walker, of Hamden, cooled off with ice cream. The mom said staying hydrated is key on days like Saturday.

"Staying shaded under these trees," she said. "[My son] likes when I just pour water on his head so that’s what I’m doing I’m just pouring water bottles on him all day."

RELATED: West Hartford opens splash pads early while Hartford opens indoor pools ahead of 90-degree heat

While temperatures were not as high along the shoreline, many brought the water with them. Berry Justiniano and Tiffany Torres of New Britain propped up with blankets and umbrellas.

"We brought a pack it has a bunch of cold waters in it, a cooler, we have an umbrella and blankets to sit on to make sure they have a space to relax," she said. "The kids have water guns."

Tips to stay safe in the heat include watching out for signs of dehydration like dizziness and dry mouth, staying hydrated, and checking on elders and pets. Click here for more safety tips.

Tony Black is a multi-media journalist at FOX61 News. He can be reached at tblack@fox61.com. Follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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