Emergency officials open cooling centres across Central Okanagan to combat heatwave

The city of Winnipeg has plans in place for the upcoming heatwave. Sung Yoon Jo / Getty Images

Emergency response officials are opening cooling centres at community centres and churches across the Central Okanagan in response to B.C.’s record-shattering heatwave.

The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations said in a press release that four additional cooling locations will open in Kelowna, West Kelowna and Peachland on Sunday.

  • Parkinson Activity Centre, 1700 Parkinson Way, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Rutland Activity Centre, 765 Dodd Rd., 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Lakeview Heights Baptist Church, 2630 Alhambra Dr., 11:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Peachland Community Centre, 4450 6th Street, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

The cooling centres will provide the public with supplies of water, masks, and hand sanitizer.

“Forecasted daytime highs are expected to be between 37 and 42 degrees Celsius (98 and 107 Fahrenheit) over the coming week,” the centre said.

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“These elevated temperatures over several days put various populations at risk of heat-related illness including seniors, children, people with underlying health conditions and those who do not have access to air conditioning.”

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Physical distancing measures will be in place and the wearing of masks in the cooling centres is mandatory, as per B.C.’s COVID-19 guidelines.

The cooling centres will remain open until the heatwave subsides.

On Friday, the City of Kelowna announced it will open cooling stations across Kelowna, aimed at residents who shelter outdoors.

The city said it and Journey Home will be working with outreach groups and other organizations to spread the word about the cooling locations.

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To see a list of those locations, click here.

Several communities in B.C.’s Southern Interior smashed daily high-temperature records on Saturday as Environment Canada warns of a dangerous, prolonged heatwave across most of the province and Alberta.

Meteorologists are calling it an unprecedented and historical heatwave that isn’t expected to lift until mid-week.

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