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10 NYC Neighborhoods Hit Hardest by Heat Wave: Study

NEW YORK, NY — More than a million New Yorkers face extra risk during heatwaves because the city hasn’t provided their neighborhoods with ample means to keep cool, a scorching new study found.

Approximately 1.5 million New Yorkers live in 10 neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx that dangerously short on cooling centers, according City Comptroller Brad Lander.

The report, “Overheated, Underserved,” dropped Thursday during a two-day heat advisory and potentially record-setting near-100 degree temperatures.

It found the situation is worst in East Flatbush, where 160,000 Brooklynites have just two cooling facilities open, prompting Lander to demand immediate action.

“We can take immediate steps to keep libraries and senior center centers open over weekends and during high heat evenings in key areas,” Lander said. “If we take action now, we can prevent future heat emergencies from becoming life-threatening catastrophes.”

Every year, 370 people die from heat-related deaths in New York City, according to the study. Risks from extreme heat are likely to increase because of climate change, which could raise the city’s average temperatures 8.8 degrees by the 2080s, the study warned.

The city opens 542 cooling centers in air-conditioned public facilities for New Yorkers during heat waves, but the study found those sites aren’t equally distributed across the city.

The Queens neighborhoods Elmhurst and Corona are home to 180,000 people, yet the city has provided them only four cooling centers.

The Kingsbridge Heights areas has more than 146,000 residents, which at four centers, breaks down to one cooling location serving roughly 36,000 people.

Black New Yorkers could bear the brunt of this heat, according to Lander’s report.

“Historically redlined neighborhoods, where banks applied discriminatory lending practices that segregated Black residents, are well-documented to be hotter than historically white neighborhoods,” the study states.

“Heat mortality rates are twice as high among Black New Yorkers compared to white New Yorkers, as a result of decades of racist housing and economic policies.”

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