Cooling centers open ahead of heat wave in western Washington


Many cooling centers are at community centers and libraries, but officials have also suggested going to places like malls to escape the heat.

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – Temperatures in the 90s are forecast for western Washington this week as the region experiences another heat wave.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has released a Heat Notice for most of the Puget Sound area Tuesday noon through Friday 10 p.m. Highs are predicted in the 90s with overnight lows in the mid 60s which will provide little relief from the heat.

The warmest temperatures are expected from Tuesday to Friday. The NWS has warned that prolonged heat could increase the risk of heat-related illnesses for heat-sensitive groups, “particularly those who lack effective cooling or adequate hydration”.

Several cooling centers are in place in the Puget Sound area for residents who are homeless or do not have air conditioning or a place to cool off.

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Many cooling centers are at community centers and libraries, but officials also suggest residents head to places like malls to try and beat the heat.

Those looking to find cooling centers near them can visit or dial 211. People are encouraged to call ahead to make sure cooling centers are open and to find out hours of operation.

The town of Mukilteo has opened a cooling center in Rosehill Community Centerlocated at 304 Lincoln Ave. The center will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. from July 25 to 28 and from 7 a.m. to midnight on July 29.

At least 27 cooling centers are open throughout Snohomish County. Click here for a list and more information.

In the Southern Sound, the city of Tacoma is opening a cooling center at the Lighthouse Activity Center on Tuesday. The center will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. until temperatures drop below 90 degrees. The Lighthouse Activity Center can accommodate 50 people on a first-come, first-served basis.

The town of Lacey is also opening a cooling center specifically for the elderly at Virgil S. Clarkson Senior Center, located at 6757 Pacific Avenue SE. The center, which operates in partnership with Senior Services for South Sound, will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

King County said it may open cooling centers and has made funds available to help homeless service providers purchase cooling supplies.

There are more than a dozen libraries located in Seattle that have air conditioning where residents can try to beat the heat. Click here for a list.

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Knowing the warnings and symptoms of heat-related illnesses is important to protect yourself and others from life-threatening illnesses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists the symptoms of heat stroke as:

  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin
  • A rapid and strong pulse
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Faint
  • A high body temperature (103 degrees or more)

If someone experiences heat stroke, the CDC recommends calling 911, moving the person to a cooler location, helping to lower the person’s body temperature with cool clothing or a cool bath, and d avoid giving him anything to drink.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Profuse sweating
  • Cold, pale and clammy skin
  • Rapid and weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fainting

The CDC recommends moving the person to a cooler location, loosening their clothing, putting damp cloths over the person’s body, or taking a cool bath and sipping water. Seek emergency medical attention if person vomits, symptoms worsen, or last longer than an hour.

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