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Crowds flock to parks, beaches around Puget Sound during historic heat wave

The crowds got so large at some parks that police had to close parking lots.

SEATTLE — A majority of people in western Washington don't have air conditioning in their homes and that makes parks, especially those near water, a welcome place to take refuge during the record-breaking high temperatures.

The crowds got too big at some locations Sunday, forcing police to close parking lots or try to take other measures to deal with the people. 

At Seattle’s Golden Gardens, the shade and sand were covered with people. 

“I'm not surprised that a lot of people are out here taking advantage of the sunshine,” Beckie Takashima said.

Takashima drove from the Puyallup area to enjoy the beach, but said they lucked out and were able to get a parking spot that wasn’t too far away. 

“I love it, I always love going to the coast when it gets this hot because it's always about 20 degrees cooler than inland so it was great," she said.

Ren Royalty parked down the street from Golden Gardens, but didn’t seem bothered by a bit of a walk. “Definitely just trying to enjoy it while it lasts, it's not going to be around forever,” she said.

Traffic problems made it tough to find parking around O.O. Denny Park in Kirkland. The lots were so full some people were parked on the grass barriers between the parking spots, while others reported parking as far away as a half-mile.

It got so bad at Allen York Park in Bonney Lake that police had to shut down the parking lot and tell people they would have to walk a significant distance. 

In Snohomish County, the parking lot at Flowing Lake Park also hit capacity.

Monday is expected to be the hottest day in western Washington's historic heat wave, so people should plan ahead for what will likely be another day of crowded parks and beaches.