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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Heat wave driving crowds to area beaches

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MASSENA - Temperatures are soaring near the 90 degree mark, and the warm weather is driving people to beaches in the region.

Massena Recreation Superintendent Richard A. Boprey said the larger crowds at the Massena Town Beach actually began last weekend, as people were finally were able to enjoy the sunny weather without any fear of rain.

“A lot of rain had an effect on the beach,” he said.

But with no rain in the forecast for this week, the numbers perked up.

“The past weekend was very good. On Saturday and Sunday it was nice to see a weekend of decent weather for a change. The pavilions were rented, and there were a lot of people out there. It was a very good crowd,” he said.

On Tuesday, with temperatures climbing into the 90s, plenty of people were again taking advantage of the summer weather to hit the beach. The visitors included participants in both the Massena and Louisville summer recreation programs.

“We have a healthy number of kids out there,” Mr. Boprey said. “We have quite a few people out there. We have a good crowd for the middle of the day. In the evenings people are still going out there. The forecast for nice weather attracts people.”

Additionally, during the Massena Village Board meeting on Tuesday, Village Trustee Albert “Herb”Deshaies noted Tuesday’s attendance at the town beach was definitely higher than usual.

“Activities at the beach have been up and down because of the weather. I went by there today though and it was busy,” Mr. Deshaies said.

Mary-Claire Gabri, a lifeguard at the Massena Town Beach, said she has noticed that as the temperatures rise so do the number of beachgoers.

“With the increase in the temperature we’ve had more people and rec comes out too. Between ‘All-Day Beach Day,’ which is tomorrow, we’ll have far more people. During that, rec comes early in the morning and they stay all day. This weekend should be really busy as well,” Ms. Gabri said.

But the crowd at the beach Tuesday was far more diverse than just local school children.

Kyle Nicholson is visiting Massena for the summer from New Zealand. He has noticed a difference in the two area’s temperatures.

“It’s really hot. We don’t get this hot,” Mr. Nicholson said.

Meanwhile, Mary Kay Espinoza and her husband, Manuel, are in town from Arizona visiting their relatives.

“It gets hotter (in Arizona). In fact it’s been between like 110 and 118, so it’s a lot hotter. But we don’t have humidity,” Ms. Espinoza said. “We never get trapped in the house because of the snow or because of the weather. We get to go outside all year long. We hardly have the four seasons like you guys do here.”

Her grandchildren, Ruben Boyea and Christopher Michael Boyea, have mixed reviews on the hot weather.

“When it’s all snowy, I love playing in the snow. Boy, do I love playing in the snow. I like half and half (summer and winter weather),” Christopher Michael said.

“We’ve been going to the beach a lot this summer. We bring a picnic, and we swim and fish a little,” Ruben noted.

The Potsdam beach at Sandstoner Park, which is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, has also seen a rise in numbers with the hot weather.

“It’s definitely gotten pretty busy during the past week or so. Probably more so at Postwood (Park) in Hannawa Falls then here, but we’ve still seen a pretty steady increase. Keep hydrated, come to the beach and have some fun, I guess,” Potsdam Recreation Director Tim Carey said.

For Massena, each of the past three days have seen a small rise in temperatures, as Sunday’s high was 88 degrees, Monday’s was 89, and Tuesday’s was 90.

According to meteorologist Eric Evenson of the National Weather Service, Burlington, Vt., the normal high for Massena during this time of year is about 80 degrees. In terms of the rest of the week, above normal temperatures are expected through at least Friday.

“(Wednesday) will be the hottest, in the low 90s. As we get into Thursday and Friday, you’re looking at mid to upper 80s. With the continued above normal temperatures, we’ll see an increase in potential for thunderstorms for the rest of the week. We are going to have the potential for gusty winds, lightning, and heavy downpours,” Mr. Evenson said.

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