YAKIMA, Wash. – The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for most of Washington and northeastern Oregon Monday through Friday 11 p.m. (7/29). Many malls, churches, and libraries are open as chill centers in Benton, Franklin, Kittitas, Walla Walla, and Yakima counties.
The Yakima Health District said this extreme heat can put anyone at risk for heat-related illnesses, especially people 65 and older and children under two, according to the news release. A list of cooling centers by county is at the bottom.
“I had to come here before I started fainting, because I can’t stand the heat,” said homeless Yakima woman Cindy.
Cindy said she had been homeless for three weeks. She said she was grateful to be able to get free water at the Yakima Central Library, no questions asked.
“It’s a bit difficult without money and I’m embarrassed to ask people for help,” Cindy said.
Public libraries throughout the Yakima Valley have free water, public bathrooms, and wifi.
“We want to make sure [community members] feel healthy and safe,” said Candy Mendoza, executive director of Yakima Valley Libraries. “If they need to be somewhere, for whatever reason, the library is there for you.”
The Wesley United Methodist Church has extended its hours of operation this week.
“I don’t care where you go but be cool. Heatstroke, heat exhaustion, dehydration are serious matters,” church pastor Shane Moore said.
Moore said he’s been happy to give people a place to cool off for two years now. He said he wanted more small businesses to open their doors to help more people get through the first heat wave of the summer.
“I don’t have air conditioning in my car, so we came out here and were recycling and were told we could come in and cool off in the church,” Yakima resident Victoria Lulham said.
COOLING CENTERS LOCATIONS:
Benton and Franklin Counties:
Mid-Columbia Libraries – Pasco Branch, West Pasco Branch, West Richland, Keewaydin Branch
Keewaydin Community Center
Richland Public Library
Martin Luther King Center in Pasco
Richland Community Center and Town Hall Kittitas County: Hal Holmes Community Center Cooling Center209 N. Ruby St. Ellensburg Public Library209 N. Ruby St. Ellensburg Adult Activity Center506 S. Pine St. Kittitas Valley Memorial Pool & Fitness Center815 E. Sixth Ave. Walla Walla County: Umpqua Bank401 S. College Ave, at College Place WA Walla Walla Public Library Yakima County: Yakima Valley Mall2529 Main St. in Union Gap Yakima Valley LibrariesGranger, Naches, Nile, Mabton, Selah, Sunnyside, Toppenish, Wapato , White Swan and Yakima Wesley United Methodist Church14 N 48th Ave.
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