The Cooling Center is open from 4 to 8 p.m. today, August 30, at the Merced Senior Community Center, 755 W. 15th St.
The Cooling Center will be open Friday, August 31, from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Sam Pipes Room on the first floor of the Merced Civic Center, 678 W. 18th St.
The City of Merced is prepared to open a cooling center whenever needed to give residents an escape from the searing heat.
The decision to open the cooling center will be made by 1 p.m. daily based on the heat index, a guide that uses the outside air temperature and relative humidity.
Information on the center opening will be available on the City’s website, and by calling 385-6905. During the normal business day cooling center information is available from the Parks and Community Services Department at 385-6855.
The center will be located at the Merced Senior Center, 755 W. 15th St. or the Merced Civic Center, 678 W. 18th St. The hours of operation will be from 1 to 10 p.m.
“We’re just trying to provide needed services to our residents,” said Fire Chief Ken Mitten. “The Cooling Center seems to be an area of high need, so we’re working with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to address the problem of high heat.”
City Parks and Community Service staff will operate the cooling center. Funding comes from the governor’s Office of Emergency Services and from Pacific Gas and Electric, which is supplying water and offsetting some costs through its grant program.
Health officials stress that drinking plenty of fluids and staying in air-conditioned buildings help prevent heat-related illnesses when temperatures exceed 105 degrees.
Last year cooling centers were opened up across the state during a heat wave that killed scores. There were no known deaths due to the heat within the City limits, Mitten said.