Potential for extreme heat prompts Suffolk to open cooling centers Saturday

Published 2:30 pm Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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The National Weather Service has released a Hazardous Weather Outlook for Southeast Virginia, including the City of Suffolk. The area is expected to experience extreme heat, with heat index values reaching up to 101 degrees on Saturday, June 22, and Sunday, June 23.

In response, the Suffolk Office of Emergency Management announced two Suffolk Public Library locations will be open as designated cooling centers during regular business hours, providing access to air conditioning, water fountains, and restrooms. The locations and hours are as follows:

Morgan Memorial Library

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443 West Washington Street
Saturday, June 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

North Suffolk Library

2000 Bennetts Creek Park Road
Saturday, June 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Office of Emergency Management advises that prolonged exposure to heat or strenuous activity may lead to heat-related illnesses that require immediate medical attention. To mitigate risks, citizens are encouraged to:

  • Drink plenty of fluids and stay in air-conditioned environments or shade when possible.
  • Reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening, if feasible.
  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
  • Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas for those working outdoors. Anyone experiencing heat-related illness should be moved to a cool, shaded location immediately. In cases of suspected heat stroke, call 911.