City Reactivates Cooling Plan

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Sunday, August 7, 2022 at 3 p.m.

Spokane Public Library branches will extend operating hours beginning tomorrow to provide indoor cooling areas for people seeking relief from extreme temperatures being forecast for the early part of the week.

Central (906 W. Main St), Shadle (2111 W. Wellesley Ave), Liberty Park (402 S. Pittsburg St), and Hillyard (4110 N. Cook St) branches will be open from 9 am to 8 pm on Monday and Tuesday. National Weather Service Spokane (NWS Spokane) is indicating the ‘Excessive Heat Warning’ will remain in effect until Tuesday, August 9 at 11 p.m. The activation is part of the City’s cooling plan when temperatures are forecast to reach 95 degrees or higher for two or more days.

“We are again activating the cooling center portion of the City’s hazard sheltering plan to give people who need some relief a place to cool off,” Mayor Nadine Woodward said. “Anyone who needs a place out of the heat is encouraged to spend time in the air conditioning at one of the branches.”

The branch locations have the capacity to serve 1,784 adults and children throughout the City. If capacity levels are reached, the City will expand to additional locations.

Spokane Public Library cooling areas include drinking fountains and filling stations, restrooms, access to books, wi-fi connectivity, technology, and interactive play areas. During the expanded library hours last month, the locations saw a slight increase in visitors.

Additionally, Spokane Transit Authority is granting fare exceptions during the extreme heat event to customers who are unable to afford bus fare traveling to cooling centers in the City of Spokane.

Spokane Parks & Recreation splash pads and pools are great places to cool down for free. Splash pads are operational from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. at 19 parks, and six pools are open Mondays – Saturdays at varied hours. Most parks also have drinking fountains to access water.

Riverfront Park have water misters on the Numerica Skate Ribbon for those out enjoying their wheels, and a water bottle filling station will be in the park. The public amenities in the park can offer indoor places to cool down while visiting; for daily hours, please visit the Riverfront calendar.

Extreme heat significantly increases the potential for heat related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities. Residents without air conditioners will experience a build-up of heat within their home through late in the week. This high-risk heat can be especially problematic for those who are heat sensitive and those without effective cooling and/or adequate hydration.

Children and seniors, those experiencing homelessness, people with chronic illnesses, and people who take certain medications, such as blood pressure medications and even antihistamines, are especially at risk for problems with high summer temperatures.

Spokane Regional Health District offers guidance for extreme heat as well as outdoor activities on their website.

The community is encouraged to take advantage of these facilities and their amenities as well as check on neighbors, friends, and family during this week. If you can help someone, please do.

Additional resources and information are available through:

  • My Spokane 311
  • 211
  • SNAP Resource Guide
  • Spokane Homeless Coalition
  • Spokane Regional Health District

The City continues to monitor National Weather Service Spokane information and will respond according to the level of severity designated in its Emergency Management protocols as conditions change.