ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. — Ahead of a weekend where Western New York will experience potentially dangerous heat and humidity, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown on Wednesday night announced a list of cooling centers available to residents.
The statement said the city would open cooling centers on Friday, with some to remain open through the weekend, at:
- Autumnwood Senior Center, 1800 Clinton Street, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- The Belle Center, 104 Maryland Street, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Delevan-Grider Community Center, 977 East Delavan Avenue, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Dorothy J. Collier Community Center, 118 East Utica Street, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Edward Saunders Community Center, 2777 Bailey Avenue, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- George K. Arthur Community Center, 2056 Genesee Street, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Gloria J. Parks Community Center, 3242 Main Street, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Hennepin Community Center, 24 Ludington Street, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Hispanic United of Buffalo, 254 Virginia Street, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Northwest Buffalo Community Center, 155 Lawn Avenue, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Richmond--Summer Senior Center, 337 Summer Street, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Schiller Park Senior Center, 2057 Genesee Street, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- William-Emslie YMCA Senior Center, 585 William Street, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
In Amherst, Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa said three locations would be open to the public during the heat wave:
- Northtown Center, 1615 Amherst Manor Road, 7 a.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday, and 7 a.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday
- Clearfield Recreation Center, 730 Hopkins Road, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday
- Center for Senior Services, 370 John James Audubon Parkway, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday
In Niagara Falls, the air-conditioned John Duke Senior Center will have cooling hours from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.
At Darien Lake, there will be misting tents inside both entrance gates for the concert featuring Thomas Rhett on Friday night, as well as 311 and Dirty Heads on Saturday night. Fans can also bring as many factory-sealed plastic water bottles as they want into the amphitheater, which will have free water stations.
Also, the Western New York Coalition for the Homeless announced that cooling centers would be open at the Harbor House, 241 Genesee Street, from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. The coalition also said the Empowerment Academy at 327 Elm Street will also be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.
One place that will not be available as a cooling center will be the Newstead Public Library in Akron. The reason: filming restrictions and road closures that are related to "A Quiet Place 2," making it tough for residents to access it.
Instead, the town will direct people to cooling shelters at the Alden Public Library or the Clarence Public Library.
The mayor's office said a list of participating cooling centers would be updated over the weekend, while directing people to the city's website for a complete list of pools and splash pads.
Health Departments throughout WNY are also making cooling centers available. Here's the full list. Officials recommend calling first to confirm the center's hours.
“With several days in a row of this extreme heat, we want everyone, particularly children and the elderly, to take the necessary precautions,” Mayor Brown said in the statement.
The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) shared a few tips with 2 On Your Side to better prepare for the heat.
Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein says anyone can be affected by a heat-related illness, although some are more affected than others.
People over 65 years old, children under 4 years old, people who have chronic illnesses, and those who take certain medications can be more susceptible to extreme heat.
“When temperature and humidity combine to make it feel in the 90s and 100s, it causes conditions that can be dangerous for humans and pets,” Burstein said. “Dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are the main health concerns with hot weather, but by taking precautions these are preventable conditions.”
The ECDOH advises everyone to stay safe during this time by drinking lots of water, limiting the amount of time spent outdoors, by wearing loose or lightweight clothing, and by hanging out somewhere with air conditioning.
Those without air conditioning are encouraged to take advantage of public spaces that do have it. The Buffalo and Erie County public libraries are designated cooling centers where anyone can go to cool off. Just make sure to check their hours beforehand.
Those looking for other options can also take advantage of the central air at a mall, grocery stores, movie theaters, or community centers. Various public pools and splash pads will also be open across Western New York.
According to the ECDOH, electric fans should not be used when the temperature is over 95 degrees outside. While fans circulate air, they do not reduce body temperature, and could potentially increase the risk of a heat-related illness.
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