Valley Residents Struggle to Keep Cool

July 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Fans are helping most of the folks who live in the Californian, endure the heat. The old buildings air conditioning unit remains broken. Residents, and those who attend the Safe Harbor Adult Care Center, which is located in the same building were shuttled to the cooling center at the Ted Wills Community Center, for a few hours today.Otherwise attendance at the cooling centers appears light. But, they are a welcome relief for those who need them. Like Danielle Sarabian. "The heat, it's too hot outside right now. It's nice in here, not too many people not too many kids."

A more popular option for cooling off seemed to be the city's swimming pools. Linda Atkinson brought her four kids here. She said, "All I have is a swamp cooler so it really gets hot, so basically this is where we come when it gets like that."

Even some with air conditioning some say it's better to get out and cool off at the pool rather than pay the bill to crank up the air. Sara Hernandez brought her two kids to the public pool at the Airways Golf Course. She said it's, "Fun, a lot of fun. Cool and cheap, not expensive at all."

The City of Fresno is working on its programs to deal with the heat. Right now, when it's 105, the cooling centers open. When it hits 110, admission to public swimming pools is free. City Parks Director Randall Cooper said this two tier system is confusing. "We're going to have one program and have it made very simple and user friendly."

Cooper says the City Manager is trying to decide on just how hot it should get before the city acts. The city is continuing to monitor the situation at the Californian. An air conditioned bus was outside waiting to cool folks off, again on Wednesday, but few got on board.

The fire department and paramedics are also standing by. Three or four of the residents have been treated for heat problems.

The giant compressor for the buildings air conditioning unit is expected to arrive and be installed on Thursday.
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