July 21, 2011
In response to the dangerous heat predicted all week, the City of Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Department announced it will open the downtown Key Recreation Center for cooling assistance.
The center will be opened each morning based on high temperatures predicted by the National Weather Service. Residents without air conditioning or power can utilize the air conditioning at the center during the hottest points of the day from 10am until 9pm.
Living Without AC
All Aaron Wunsch has to keep cool in this extreme heat is a box fan perched in his bedroom window. There's no air conditioning in most of the house, so on days like Thursday, his monstly red brick home turns into a sweat box.
"After noon it's almost unbearable," he said.
Wunsch just recently moved into the home with his family and says it's hard to get air conditioning into the home because of the thick brick walls. They're going to sweat it out this summer and hope for a cooler fall.
There are also a few other resources available for people trying to beat the heat. The Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA) has the Fan Care program. People over the age of 60 who meet certain income requirements can apply for cooling assistance through JABA.
Also, Ebeneezer Baptist Church at 6th Street NW and West Main has opened up an outdoor cooling station with fans and water bottles.
Last year the cooling centers were opened on days when temperatures topped out in the 90s. The center is located on most City bus lines and accessible from the east end of the Downtown Mall.
In recent years, the City has opened these cooling centers to assist residents in need and officials will continue to evaluate the needs this summer to potentially add additional centers on particularly hot periods.
When additional shelters are needed and opened up, the City will alert the public through the website, as well as public and media notification.
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