Dealing with heat? City's got a cool method to relax

FRESNO, Calif.

Centers open when it hits 105. The city's pools open for free from 1 to 5 pm. Earlier it was packed with dozens of kids ... and parents looking to save on their cooling bills.

Hot spells ... they are facts of life in the Valley that can lead to health problems such as difficulty breathing or dehydration if exposed too long or serious free fun.

Fresno's Ojo Watson said: "It's a good thing for the kids. I thought I'd bring mine, let them do a little swimming, tire themselves out, beat the heat. Save on that PG&E bill."

When temperatures are expected to climb to 105 degrees or higher, the city opens four pools to the public. Two in Southeast and two in Southwest Fresno. This year four community centers are available for Fresnans to hide from the scorching weather. Last year two more centers were open but the city claims demand is down this year.

"The public demand is not there to have more centers than that available because people have lots of options as to where they can go for opportunities to cool off," said Randy Reed with the city.

PG&E gave the city $21,000 to staff these centers and adjust the hours of operation as needed ... for now if you show up at noon you will have air conditioning.

"In the shade it was 105 right next to the unit here and in the sun you know 108," said electrician Bobby Morris.

Because of a cooler Spring and early Summer many residents waited to run their air conditioners which can lead to electrical problems.

Morris: "You have to maintain it. You should have it checked out twice a year. You know once in the Spring for the ac and in fall again for the heater."

Morris works for Vern's Plumbing, heating and a/c said his calls for service have doubled in the last couple of days.

The city is continuing its free FAX Bus service to these centers ... just tell the driver where you are headed.

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Clovis residents can take advantage of the Sierra Vista Mall as a cooling center. The Sierra Vista Mall on Shaw and Clovis Avenue in Clovis will be available Monday from Noon to 10 p.m. and during days with temperatures 105 or greater.

Transportation to and from the site is free by Clovis transit. For a free pick-up you can call (559) 324-2770.

In Fresno, the high temperatures also opened up some cooling centers in the city. Fresno is offering relief at four facilities throughout the city from noon until 8pm. The city's FAX bus system is also providing free transportation to and from the cooling centers.

The cooling centers are at the following locations:

- Frank H Ball on 760 Mayor Street.

- Ted C Wills Community Center at 770 North San Pablo.

- Mosqueda Community Center at 4670 East Butler.

- Pinedale Community Center at 7170 North San Pablo.

The City of Fresno PARCS Department is also providing free swimming from 1 pm to 5pm at city operated pool locations when cooling centers are activated.

Additional information is available by calling 621-CITY(2489) or by visiting the City of Fresno website at www.fresno.gov/cool

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