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On Long Island, Roy Gross, chief of the Suffolk County SPCA, cautioned against keeping pets in vehicles, noting temperatures can reach 120 degrees within minutes.

“Your pet can quickly suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke when trapped in these high temperatures,” Gross said.

Philadelphia began a staggered schedule of opening its swimming pools on Monday, a couple of days after schools let out for the year. Nearly two dozen of the city’s 70 pools will be open by Wednesday, with another seven opening Thursday.

“We’re very lucky that the pools opened yesterday,” James Garrow, a spokesman for the Philadelphia health department, said Tuesday.

The city planned to work with personal care homes, senior centers, libraries and recreation centers to make sure air conditioners are running.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, the state’s largest transit agency, is keeping a close eye on the heat, too, spokeswoman Jerri Williams said.

The agency planned to have extra maintenance workers to help deal with heat-related switch failures, problems with track expansion and any overhead wire issues on suburban train lines.

In Rhode Island, all regular public buses and trolleys will be free on Wednesday due to anticipated air quality issues.

Moderate relief from the heat should come this weekend.

Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Jessica Gresko in Washington, Stephen Singer in Hartford, Conn., Patrick Walters in Philadelphia, Dave Collins in West Hartford, Conn., Frank Eltman in Garden City, N.Y., Karen Matthews and Verena Dobnik in New York City, Erika Niedowski in Providence, R.I., Shannon Young in Boston and Mary Esch in Albany, N.Y., contributed to this report.