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Cooling centres opening in New West due to heat warning

Century House, Queensborough Community Centre and New West library serving as cooling centres on Aug. 17 and 18
GettyImages heat wave
Three cooling centres are opening in New Westminster this week in response to Environment Canada heat warning.

New West residents are invited to beat this week’s heat wave by visiting local cooling centres.

In response to a heat warning that’s been issued for the Lower Mainland for Wednesday, Aug. 17 and Thursday, Aug. 18, the City of New Westminster is inviting residents to come inside and cool down at local facilities.

* Century House: Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (620 Eighth St.)

* Queensborough Community Centre: Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (920 Ewen Ave.)

* New Westminster Public Library: Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (716 Sixth Ave.)

“Our cooling venues are open with extended hours during this two-day heat warning,” said Cory Hansen, the city’s emergency program coordinator. “I think the biggest messaging to send out is to remember to check on those more vulnerable, your neighbours and family members during a heat event and ensure you have a plan to seek out a venue that’s cooler if you find yourself too warm.”

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Metro Vancouver, including New Westminster. It states that a stretch of hot weather is expected on Wednesday and Thursday.

“Threat: Daytime high temperatures of 29 to 35 degrees Celsius inland and near 27 degrees Celsius near the water. Early morning low temperatures of 16 to 18 degrees Celsius,” said the weather statement.

Environment Canada and local medical health officers expect an increase in health and safety risks from heat and are advising the public to take precautions, said the notice.

According to Environment Canada, the hottest time of the day will be late afternoon to early evening.

Environment Canada is forecasting that the strong ridge of high pressure will bring a short-lived heat wave to British Columbia, with temperatures expected to moderate on Friday.

“Extreme heat affects everyone,” said the heat warning. “The risks are greater for young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and people working or exercising outdoors.”

Environment Canada warns people to watch for the effects of heat illness: swelling, rash, cramps, fainting, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and the worsening of some health conditions.

The City of New Westminster has some tips for keeping cool in extreme heat:

*Avoid direct sunlight

* Wear lightweight, light-coloured clothing

* Take cool showers or baths

* Drink a lot of water

* Turn off all heat sources, including thermostats

* Check on friends and neighbours

* Keep pets out of the heat and provide lots of water

* Avoid high-energy activities or outdoor work

* Seek air-conditioned venues, such as malls, libraries, community centres etc.

For more information, visit www.newwestcity.ca/extreme-heat.

Anyone with questions about heat-related illness can call HealthLinkBC at 811.

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