Keeping Cool

By: Philip Stewart
By: Philip Stewart
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July 18, 2006

With temperatures hovering near triple digits Tuesday, the City of Charlottesville took steps to make sure uncomfortable weather didn't become deadly weather.

Local pools were open for business. Meade Pool stayed open an extra hour. Lifeguards said they were ready, but that more swimmers can sometimes be a challenge.

"You need to be scanning the pool more often make sure nobody is going under," said Keenan Timko, a lifeguard at Meade. "There can also be more confrontations, people bumping into each other."

City management says the increased services do add up, but that it's money well-spent.

"It does cost some money," said Ric Barrick, the city's director of communications. "But it certainly is well worth the cost, having things open a little bit later and hoping that people will come and make use of the facilities."

The city and Dominion Power were also happy to report that there had been no power outages as of Tuesday evening.

"Last year when we had a heat wave, we saw on the second and the third day, we started to see some brownouts," said Barrick. "We started to see some issues within some city buildings, but so far [this year] nothing."

For seniors in the area JABA is offering it's Cooling Assistance Program. The program provides air conditioners and fans to those who qualify. It's been around for 21 years, but this year has been the busiest so far.

"We have usually about 20 people calling per day and that's a pretty large response to keep up with," said Joyce Gentry, an information and assistance specialist at JABA.

For more information on the JABA program, to find out if you qualify, or to make a donation, please contact JABA at 434-817-5222.

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