City opens cooling centers as excessive heat advisory is issued

Published 5:55 pm Thursday, July 27, 2023

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Suffolk and the southeastern region of Virginia is under an excessive heat warning through Saturday with the National Weather Service projecting heat index values reaching 112 degrees Friday and Saturday, July 28-29.

The Suffolk Office of Emergency Management announced the opening of cooling centers throughout the city to meet residents’ needs.

Two Suffolk Public Library locations are open to the public as designated cooling centers during regular business hours. The centers will offer access to air conditioning, water fountains and restrooms, officials said in a news release. 

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The library locations open from10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Saturday are: 

  • Morgan Memorial Library, 443 West Washington St.
  • North Suffolk Library, 2000 Bennetts Creek Park Rd.

The Office of Emergency Management advises that prolonged exposure or any strenuous activity may lead to heat-related illnesses that require immediate medical attention. 

As a result, citizens are encouraged to follow these tips to deal with the heat:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air conditioned environment, or stay in the shade, if possible.
  • Take extra precautions if working or spending time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.
  • To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shade or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency — call 911 if suspected.