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The heat is on: Charlotte opens cooling centers, other resources for extreme heat

Man drinking water.
Ratna Fitry
Man drinking water.

A heat advisory is in effect until 8 p.m. Monday for the Charlotte area, which means people should limit time outside, especially with strenuous activities.

The National Weather Service says high temperatures are forecast to be near 96 degrees with heat index values — that’s what it feels like outside when taking humidity into account — is expected to approach 107 degrees.

Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office (CMEMO) and homeless service providers are working together to help.

The Charlotte Area Transit System will provide free transportation to the Roof Above Day Services Center, any Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library location, and the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Centers, Senior Centers, and spray grounds, which are designated as cooling stations.

The Department of Social Services is helping seniors and adults receiving disability income by offering free box fans while supplies last.

Here's a list of local resources available from Mecklenburg County. (The following information is directly from the county.) The Charlotte Area Transit System is providing free service to locations listed here while the heat advisory is in effect:

  • Cooling Stations: "In collaboration with Mecklenburg County, Roof Above is offering its Day Services Center as a cooling station for anyone experiencing unsheltered homelessness in Mecklenburg County. The Day Services Center is located on 945 North College Street. The Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Misting stations, fans, water fountains, and chairs are also available. In addition, outreach staff will visit homeless encampments to provide information about relief, cooling station locations, and water if needed."
  • Park and Recreation: Centers
    The following Recreation and Senior Centers are open to residents seeking relief from the heat:

    • Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center, 2921 Tuckaseegee Road, Charlotte

    • David B. Waymer Recreation Center, 14008 Holbrooks Road, Huntersville

    • Eastway Regional Recreation Center, 3150 Eastway Park Drive, Charlotte

    • Ivory/Baker Recreation Center, 1920 Stroud Park Court, Charlotte

    • Mallard Creek Recreation Center, 2530 Johnston Oehler Road, Charlotte

    • Northern Regional Recreation Center, 18121 Old Statesville Road, Cornelius

    • Revolution Park Sports Academy, 1225 Remount Road, Charlotte

    • Tyvola Senior Center, 2225 Tyvola Road, Charlotte

    Recreation and Senior Center locations and hours of operation are available online.

  • Park and Recreation: Spraygrounds

    The following spraygrounds in Charlotte are also available for use from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily:

    • Clarks Creek Community Park, 5435 Hucks Road

    • Captain Jack, Elizabeth Park, 1100 East Trade St.

    • Cordelia Park, 600 East 24th St.

    • First Ward Park, 301 East Seventh St.

    • Latta Park, 601 East Park Ave.

    • Nevin Park, 6100 Statesville Road

    • Romare Bearden Park, 300 South Church St.

    • West Charlotte Recreation Center, 2401 Kendall Drive

    • Veterans Park, 2136 Central Ave.

  • Charlotte Mecklenburg libraries:
    Charlotte Mecklenburg library locations are generally open to the public from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Mecklenburg County fan initiatives:
    The Department of Social Services is helping seniors and adults receiving disability income by offering free box fans. Mecklenburg County residents 60 years and older, and adults ages 18 to 59, who are disabled can pick up a fan while supplies last. Call Mecklenburg County Child, Family, and Adult Services at 980-314-6800 or email mSFA-Events@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov. Individuals are required to show a valid driver's license or state ID providing proof of age and a current Mecklenburg County address when picking up their fan. Limit one fan per person.
  • Energy bill assistance:
    Individuals and families in Mecklenburg County who are experiencing a cooling (or heating) energy bill-related crisis, a life-threatening or health-related emergency, and have a past due or final notice can apply for energy bill assistance through the Crisis Intervention Program. Details on the program, including criteria and applications, are available at MeckNC.gov/Energy or call 704-336-3000. Assistance is available year round or until all funds are exhausted.

    Members of the public may also call 211 to receive the latest information regarding home utility and rental assistance options.

Woody is a Charlotte native who came to WFAE from the world of NASCAR where he was host of NASCAR Today for MRN Radio as well as a pit reporter, turn announcer and host of the NASCAR Live pre race show for Cup Series races. Before that, he was a news anchor at WBT radio in Charlotte, a traffic reporter, editor of The Charlotte Observer’s University City Magazine, News/Sports Director at WEGO-AM in Concord and a Swiss Army knife in local cable television. His first job after graduating from Appalachian State University was news reporter at The Daily Independent in Kannapolis. Along the way he’s covered everything from murder trials and a national political convention to high school sports and minor league baseball.