News release from the City of Fort Wayne:
Update: City cooling centers provide relief
About 30 residents seek shelter from heat; all advised to check on neighbors
About 30 residents have sought shelter so far today at two city cooling centers opened yesterday in the wake of an extreme heat wave gripping the Midwest.
As of 4 p.m. today, the 30 residents had taken shelter at the city Parks and Recreation Department Community Center, 233 W. Main St., and the Public Safety Academy, 7602 Patriot Crossing (located behind the Wal-Mart and Menards, off US 27). The Community Center saw a steady stream of residents, some of whom stayed an average of two hours.
“Now that Fort Wayne is into our second day of high temperatures and heavy humidity, we are starting to see people who need to find relief from the heat at our two cooling centers. I would like to extend my appreciation to the staff at these locations and well as our community partners who are helping residents who benefit from these locations,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “However with the continued hot weather, it remains important that Fort Wayne residents continue to check on their family and neighbors who might be struggling with the heat and have limited or no access to air conditioning.”
On Monday, about 10 people – including a family of five – took refuge at the centers. Both centers will remain open this week; the Community Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and the Public Safety Academy will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Today, Wal-Mart Southtown and Kroger at Southgate donated gift cards so that light snacks could be provided for those at the cooling centers. Tomorrow, Community Harvest Food Bank will be helping to provide water, drinks and light snacks, as well.
The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the Fort Wayne area that will remain in place until 8 a.m. Friday. Temperatures are expected to reach the high 90s and could hit 100 degrees on Thursday. The heat index is expected to reach as high as 110 degrees.
Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health officials advise residents to wear loose, light-colored clothing and drink plenty of water.
Mayor Henry continues to encourage local businesses to allow residents to take shelter from oppressive heat, as needed.