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Waco to open cooling center as heat continues in area

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Posted at 6:18 PM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 19:18:05-04

WACO, Texas — The Sul Ross Senior Center in Waco will serve as a cooling center this weekend as the area continues to see temperatures around 100 degrees.

"Really it's just a place for people to come in if you need a place to get out of the heat and cool off," McLennan County Emergency Manager Coordinator Elizabeth Thomas said. "You're welcome to stay here as long as you like."

There will be chairs and cold bottles of water available for people who stop by. Thomas said the city wants to give residents a chance to cool off and get out of the heat.

"The more you're outside, especially during those peak hours whenever the sun is at the highest, you're increasing your chance for any heat-related illnesses," she said. "We just want to offer our residents a place to cool off and get cool."

Local doctors recently spoke with 25 News about why it's so important to take a break from hot weather to help prevent developing a heat-related illness.

"The first heat-related illness is dehydration," Dr. Laura Irvin, a Baylor Scott and White Sports Medicine Physician, said. "That's one we've all experienced, if not we will."

Staying hydrated and cool can help prevent dehydration and other illnesses including heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

"That can be fatal so we take it very seriously," Dr. Irvin said. "Signs of that is when someone starts to become confused, they may be sleepy and when you stop sweating."

If you expect someone might be having a heat stroke, you're encouraged to get them to the hospital as soon as possible.

The city hopes to prevent these illnesses with the cooling center. It will be open Friday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on the weekend from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.