City Expands Temporary Cooling Resources

Kirstin Davis, Communications Manager, 509.625.7773

Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at 8:28 a.m.

City of Spokane staff have been meeting daily to assess temporary cooling center operations. Due to the updated weather forecasts calling for higher temperatures through July 4, cooling centers will be open until 8 p.m. starting today and are expected to remain open through Sunday, July 4.  As temperatures were forecasted to reach and exceed 100 degrees last week, the City established and opened temporary cooling opportunities in the Looff Carrousel in Riverfront Park and with Spokane Public Library, as in-neighborhood options for temporary relief from the heat.

“The established cooling centers have provided much needed space to escape the record breaking heat,” Mayor Nadine Woodward said. “The operational planning and flexibility that City staff and department leaders are putting into action to provide respite for residents and visitors is a testament to their teamwork, planning and commitment to everyone in need of some relief.”

Over the weekend, the Riverfront Park location served 22 people on Saturday and 31 people on Sunday. The most people using the cooling center at one time was 13. Medical calls were at a normal level with six attributed to heat and one that resulted in being transported for medical care.

System-wide, 100 or so low-barrier shelter spaces and about 150 to 200 total have consistently been available since April 1. In addition, the Cannon Street shelter has some drop-in day space available and has recently added an outdoor shade structure with picnic tables and benches. The shelter offers showers, restrooms, laundry, meals, and access to services.  House of Charity and The Way Out shelters offer day space to guests who checked in the night before. Both have been operating under that procedure as part of COVID protocols put in place last summer to reduce the spread of illness.

Spokane Public Library locations are available for access during operating hours and additional community organizations are stepping forward to open their doors for relief from the heat.

A City team continues meeting daily, to monitor changes in the weather and evaluate operational needs and adjustments.