Local cooling centers offer respite from high temps

All Tulare County Public Libraries and many community centers in the area are open to the public this summer as extreme heat persists across the valley

TULARE COUNTY – With 100-degree days taking over the Central Valley, local government agencies and community centers are working to protect residents from the dangers of extreme heat.

Across Tulare County, cooling centers provide residents with a place to escape the high temperatures and stay safe. The county also provides free transportation to some cooling centers through the Tulare County Regional Transit Agency. The transit options are currently tentative due to the Transdev work stoppage in Visalia due to a workers strike, and other logistical considerations, but those who need assistance getting to a cooling center should call 559-372-2290 to inquire about the service.

Cooling centers are activated during times of high heat and are coordinated by the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), which then works with municipalities in the area to provide as many centers as needed, said HHSA Emergency Services Specialist Sean Roberts.

“The first thing we do is we obviously consider the high temperatures, but we also consider the low temperatures as well,” Roberts said.

When nighttime lows, known as temperature recovery, only drop to about 80 degrees Fahrenheit, that’s when the heat can really start to affect people, Roberts said.

All public libraries within the county can be used as cooling centers during their regular operating hours.  All branches are closed Sundays and Mondays and specific hours for each branch can be found at the Tulare County Library website. Roberts said they look to the libraries as cooling centers first because they are neutral, friendly locations that most people are familiar with.

Residents can visit the Tulare County HHSA website or social media accounts for any updates on cooling center locations.

In Visalia, the transit center located at 425 East Oak Ave. is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. through July 23 to be used as a cooling center. According to the city website, the center has plenty of seating, vending machines and restrooms open to the public. The Visalia Branch Library located at 200 West Oak Ave. is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Porterville offers four cooling center locations during times of extreme heat. The Porterville Library at 50 West Olive Ave. in Porterville is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Saturday; and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Residents can also use the Porterville City Hall at 291 North Main St. from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; and the Porterville Transit Center at 61 West Oak Ave. from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and on Sundays, they can visit from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On days with temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the Fallen Heroes Park Splash Pad at 356 East Chase Ave. in Porterville is also open on weekday afternoons. Otherwise, its regular operating hours are from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday through Sunday.

In Tulare, the public library at 475 North M St. is open from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Saturdays. The Tulare Transit Center at 360 North K St. is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. On days with temperatures exceeding 105 degrees Fahrenheit, the Prosperity Sports Park at 846 West Prosperity Ave. is open as a cooling center from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

In northeast Tulare County, Woodlake City Hall at 350 North Valencia Blvd. in Woodlake is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the Cutler-Orosi Family Education Center at 40802 Road 128 in Cutler is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

In Dinuba, the Dinuba Walmart and Dinuba Transit Center act as cooling centers as well. The Dinuba Transit Center at 180 East Merced St. is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and the Walmart is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Anyone experiencing heat-related illness such as heat exhaustion should seek treatment and contact emergency services if symptoms do not subside.

Start typing and press Enter to search