It’s been so hot lately that Jacksonville has opened its cooling centers to help people with no air conditioning a chance to cool down. The Jacksonville area experienced an extreme heat warning from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday.
One cooling center is the downtown library. Fred Calvin Chilies told us having the library as a place to cool down is a life saver, he says it’s better there than in an emergency room.
“It’s very important because under the circumstances that we have now with this heat at 110 degrees, it’s very vital to senior citizens like myself, at 67-years-old, and just people who are not healthy enough to combat the weather,” Chilies said.
The centers close at 6 p.m. “The worst parts of the day for us are in that time period between 12 o’clock, noon, to 6 p.m. So during the worst part of the day, we are providing that shelter for these folks. Then as the sun starts to go down, as we get closer to the evening hours as temperatures drop, the excessive heat goes down. Yes, the humidity is out there, but if you’re able to get relief from the sun itself, then the risk of having heat stroke or heat exhaustion goes down significantly,” Dr. Sunil Joshi, Chief Health Officer, said.
George Hatcher works outside in construction. When asked how he stays cool, he said, “It’s hard sometimes but you got to do what you got to do.” Hatcher said it’s important to keep electrolytes in you by drinking water or Gatorade.
For city workers, there’s talk of making some changes. “We’re having some discussions about whether we should limit the hours for city employees out in the sun,” Dr. Joshi said.
When News4JAX went to a park in Springfield, the playground equipment we tested reached 166 degrees. A child could really get hurt playing on the playground when it’s this hot.
A young boy and his mother at the park told us they’re staying clear of anything metal or hot while at the playground, and they’re not staying long.
The dash on our car reached 198 degrees, so be careful when you get into your car. Your dash could burn you.