Little Rock Opening Cooling Centers to Combat Heat
LITTLE ROCK – With much of Arkansas under a heat advisory, the City of Little Rock is opening cooling areas in five Community Centers to provide places for residents needing to seek relief from the climbing summer temperatures.
The cooling centers will open Tuesday, July 27th through Friday, July 30th during the normal hours of the community centers.
“It is vitally important that we provide these centers to those in our City who may need a place to go during the hottest times of the day,” City Manager Bruce T. Moore said. “We know that while many residents have air conditioning, there are those who don’t.”
The Community Centers have designated rooms available for residents to cool off. The locations and hours of the cooling centers are:
Dunbar Community Center, 1001 West 16th Street,
501-376-1084; 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Southwest Community Center, 6401 Baseline Road,
501-918-3975; 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
East Little Rock Community Center, 2500 East 6th Street,
501-374-2881; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Stephens Community Center, 3720 West 18th Street,
501-603-9974; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
West Central Community Center, 4521 John Barrow Road,
501-379-1890 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
The City will monitor the weather to determine how long the cooling centers will need to remain open. The centers will stay open in prolonged periods of extreme heat and humidity.
Residents are encouraged to check in on neighbors, especially those vulnerable populations at risk of complications from extreme heat. Those include adults over 65, children under 4, and those with disabilities or existing medical conditions. People who exercise outdoors should pace themselves and schedule workouts to avoid the mid-day heat. Pets should have an adequate water supply and be monitored for signs of heat exhaustion or sickness. No one should ever be left in a parked car.
Extreme heat events are a leading cause of extreme weather-related deaths in the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay informed. That means limiting time spent outside, not relying on a fan as a primary cooling device, drinking more water than usual, avoiding liquids that contain high amounts of sugar, and checking the local news for heat alerts.
Heat illness can happen to anyone, but it is preventable. The City has precautions in place for employees who work outdoors, including summer hours for several departments and an alert system for Parks & Recreation staff.