Much of southern New England is under an excessive heat warning this weekend as temperatures are expected to soar above 90 degrees, sending the heat index value as high as 100.
As of 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Boston EMS has responded to over 700 incidents. EMS confirmed Saturday night that 12 people have been transported due to heat-related illnesses since Friday.
On Saturday, people made it a beach day at Carson Beach in Boston's Southie neighborhood.
"It's quite toasty," beachgoer Kaira Lujan said. "Hot! It's hot!"
Some played volleyball and kicked a soccer ball while others took a dip in the water.
"It's very ice cold," Lujan said.
But the sand was a different story.
"I wish I had sand socks. My feet are a little hot right now. The sand is scorching," she said.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh declared a heat emergency due to the "dangerous" heat. The declaration forced cooling centers to open across the city for the weekend.
"I'm real concerned," Walsh said. "I think we're going to have three 90-plus degree days. People are saying on Saturday, with the humidity, it could get up to 100, 112 degrees. That's dangerous heat. We don't really see it here."
He said there are several events planned in the city over the weekend, including a basketball tournament and a parade. He said emergency personnel will be on hand to make sure that anyone who is overcome by the heat gets immediate assistance.
"We're not used to 112 degree days here in Boston," Walsh said. "You're talking about just scorching sun, very humid, very hot, the air's going to be very thick."
In wake of the dangerous weather, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is warning residents to stay safe during the excessive heat. Some of the safety tips they encourage others to follow include avoiding strenuous activity, staying hydrated even if you are not thirsty and wearing lightweight, light-colored clothing.
MEMA reminds residents to refrain from leaving children or pets alone in a closed vehicle. Even with windows slightly open, temperatures inside a car can rise about 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. Leaving kids or pets inside a closed car can lead to heat exhaustion or even death.
At Carson Beach in South Boston, hundreds of kids spent Friday enjoying Save the Harbor, Save the Bay's 9th Annual Youth Beach Bash and Splash.
"We have fishing down at the water, we have sports that will be playing with the kids," said Patrice Haney, who works for Save the Harbor Save the Bay.
The day also included a cookout, kayaks, arts and crafts, performances and swimming.
Organizers said many people don't even know Carson Beach is open. One aim of the the event is to let people know it is open all summer long.
"Awareness is the key to change. So making everyone know in the neighborhood that this is a viable beach, it's clean," said President, Tani Marinovich.
The beach is guarded from Memorial Day to Labor Day throughout the summer.
"It's all about giving the kids of Boston and the people of Boston an opportunity to explore the Harbor," said Qalid Hassan, who also works for Save the Harbor Save the Bay.
The American Red Cross also offered the following heat safety tips:
• Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees.
• Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
• Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
• If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should seek relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day in places like schools, libraries, theaters, malls, etc.
• Avoid extreme temperature changes.
• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
• Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
• Postpone outdoor games and activities.
• Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
• Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.
Boston declared a heat emergency that begins Friday at noon and is expected to last through Sunday evening. To help people stay cool, Boston Centers for Youth & Families will be open through the emergency and additional community centers will be open this weekend.
BCYF locations that are open as cooling centers include: Jackson/Mann in Allston; Golden Age Senior Center in Charlestown; Quincy in Chinatown/Leather District; Holland in Dorchester; Grove Hall Senior Center in Dorchester; Leahy/Holloran in Dorchester; Marshall in Dorchester; Perkins in Dorchester; Paris Street in East Boston; Pino in East Boston; Hyde Park; Curtis Hall in Jamaica Plain; Hennigan in Jamaica Plain; Gallivan in Mattapan; Mattahunt in Mattapan; Mildred Avenue in Mattapan; Tobin in Mission Hill; Nazzaro in North End; Roslindale; Menino in Roslindale; Shelburne in Roxbury; Vine Street in Roxbury; Blackstone in South End; Condon in South Boston; Curley in South Boston; Tynan in South Boston; Ohrenberger in West Roxbury; Roche in West Roxbury.