STATEN ISLAND, NY (PIX11)—As record temps are turning the Big Apple into the Big Sauna this weekend, city officials have posted advisories at Cedar Grove Beach, Midland Beach and South Beach on Staten Island and Sea Gate Beach in Brooklyn, all due to raw sewage that oozed into the Hudson out of the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant after a four-alarm fire Wednesday night.
For beachgoers like John Clacher, the potential toxic discharge wasn't going to stop him from cooling down, "I went in, the water is nice. It's clear today too," said Clacher. When asked if he had any concerns, Clacher responded, "No I'm an old man, how many more years do I got?"
He seemed fine, but everyone is being advised to stay out of the water at those beaches. The city is trying to get the word out, but is everyone hearing the warnings? "Definitely not, I didn't see it. Look at the sign, look at all the signs, the other signs are about ten times bigger than that," said Damian Mierzwe while leaving Cedar Grove Beach.
At an afternoon news conference, officials said that approximately 200 million gallons of sewage seeped into the waters that new Yorkers frolic in.
Think about that for a moment.
One of the problems with sludge of that magnitude is that it moves about as slow as traffic to the Hampton's on a Friday, so officials plan to take water samples throughout the weekend to ensure that the current advisory doesn't turn into a closure.
"If it shows what we expect, the advisory we are under now will continue. If it surprises us and shows a sample much higher, then we would close those beaches," said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City Health Commissioner.
Officials also recommended avoiding recreation activities -- like kayaking -- on the Hudson, East, or Harlem Rivers. If you're planning on fishing, then don't fry up the catch afterwards. Dr. Farley advises that fisherman would be much better off releasing it.