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

Potentially record-breaking heat is on the way this weekend.

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — We’re still a month away from the official start of Summer, but the season’s simmering heat will arrive sooner than expected.

What are your plans to beat the heat? 

“I’m personally going golfing,” said Zachary Koch of West Hartford. “We are heading out to the Cape where it is going to be a little cooler there,” said Grace Reilly of Manchester.

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With potentially record-breaking temps on the way for the weekend, West Hartford is taking action. 

“We’ve been monitoring the weather forecast and decided to expedite the opening of our splash pads,” explained Helen Rubino-Turco, the Director of Leisure Services in West Hartford.

In fact, West Hartford’s four splash pads are opening a full week early. They are free and families will have access from 10 a.m to 7 a.m. The reaction from families? 

“Oh, it’s a week early? Nice!” said Koch. “Heck yeah,” added Reilly.

West Hartford isn’t the only community offering some early-season relief. 

“We're making sure our recreation centers will be open Saturday,” said Kim Oliver, the director of Hartford’s recreation department. “They will be open with their indoor pools up and running.” 

The locations are Parker Memorial and the Arroyo Center and the time will be from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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But outdoor pools will have to wait a little longer. Typically they are ready by Memorial Day weekend. Until then, the state parks can provide a cool down. Connecticut offers 22 designated swimming areas, but this early in the season you should take extra caution. 

“The lifeguards are not at their stations yet, so we encourage parents to really watch their children,” explained Wendy Flynn, an environmental analyst for CT DEEP. 

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And remember that hot air temperature doesn’t mean warm water temperature. 

“Right now our water temperatures are in the mid to upper 50’s and that’s still pretty cold,” added Flynn.

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While the weather heats up, stores are stocking up. 

“This is unexpected for New England to have 90 degrees this early in May,” remarked George Cadwallader, the Asst. Mgr. for Larsen’s Ace Hardware in West Hartford. They are seeing air conditioners, grills, pools and other summer items fly off the shelves just as fast as they can stock them. 

“It’s all up to our warehouse in New York to have it properly stocked. Are we going to have some delays? Yes,” said Cadwallader.

Matt Caron is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at mcaron@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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