Cooling centers open in several areas due to extreme heat

Posted at 12:12 PM, Jul 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-25 12:39:10-04

NORFOLK, Va. – With Hampton Roads and Northeastern North Carolina under a heat advisory as temperatures soar into the triple digits, many areas are opening cooling centers for residents.

Here’s a few places you’re welcome to go to cool off:


Portsmouth Public Libraries:

  • Main Library: 601 Court Street; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Churchland Library: 4934 High Street West; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Cradock Library: 28 Prospect Parkway; 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Manor Library: 1401 Elmhurst Lane; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Portsmouth Municipal Centers:

  • Social Services: 1701 High Street; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • City Hall Lobby: 801 Crawford Street; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Senior Station: 3500 Clifford Street; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Behavioral Healthcare Services: 1811 King Street; 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Newport News

Community & Senior Centers:

  • Brittingham-Midtown Community Center (570 McLawhorne Drive): 6:30 am – 8 pm
  • Doris Miller Community Center (2814 Wickham Avenue): 1 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Hilton Senior Center (605 Hilton Boulevard): 10 am – 5 pm
  • North Newport News Senior Center (605 South Avenue): 10 am – 5 pm
  • Denbigh Community Center (15198 Warwick Blvd.): 7 am – 9 pm
  • Downing Gross Cultural Arts Center (2410 Wickham Avenue) 9 am – 8 pm

Public Pools & Beach:

  • Doris Miller Pool (2814 Wickham Avenue): 12 pm – 5:45 pm
  • Brittingham-Midtown Community Center Pool (570 McLawhorne Drive): 6:30 am – 8 pm

NOTE: Purchase of daily pass, punch card or annual pass required; cost varies by age and residency; visit or call 591-4573 for details.

  • Huntington Beach – lifeguards on duty 10 am – 6 pm

Public Libraries:

  • Pearl Bailey Library (2510 Wickham Avenue): M-TH 10 am – 9 pm; Fri – Sat. 10 am -6 pm
  • Grissom Library (366 DeShazor Drive):  M-TH 10 am – 9 pm; Fri – Sat. 10 am -6 pm, Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm
  • Main Street Library – (110 Main Street): M-TH 10 am – 9 pm; Fri – Sat. 10 am -6 pm, Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm
  • South Morrison Library (746 Adams Drive) M – F 10 am – 6 pm

Hampton – All public libraries and community centers;

In addition: 

  • The H.E.L.P. Day Center has opened a cooling center at First United Methodist Church, 110 East Queen St., from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. for those seeking respite from the heat.
  • Water has been placed at each lifeguard station on Hampton beaches, and lifeguards are trained to deal with emergency situations.
  • Members of the city’s CERT Corps – residents with Community Emergency Response Team training – have been asked to check on friends, family and neighbors to make sure they are ok.

Virginia Beach – All public city buildings.

Norfolk – Libraries and public facilities

Suffolk – Libraries and the Health and Human Services Building, 135 Hall Ave

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is reminding residents to take steps to protect themselves from the extreme heat:

  • Spend time in locations with air-conditioning when possible.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Good choices are water and diluted sport electrolyte drinks (1 part sport drink to 2 parts water) unless told otherwise by a doctor.
  • Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
  • Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours

People suffering from heat stress may experience heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, and clammy skin; fast, weak pulse; and nausea or vomiting. Early signs include muscle cramps, heat rash, fainting or near-fainting spells, and a pulse or heart rate greater than 100.

People suffering from heat stress should be moved to a cooler location to lie down. Apply cool, wet cloths to the body especially to head, neck, arm pits and upper legs near the groin area where combined 70 percent of body heat can be lost; and have the person sip water. They should remain in the cool location until recovered with a pulse heart rate is well under 100 beats per minute.

Signs of the most severe heat-related illness, heat stroke, include a body temperature above 103 degrees Fahrenheit; hot, red, dry or moist skin; rapid and strong pulse; and altered mental status which can range from confusion and agitation to unconsciousness. Call 911 immediately and take steps to cool the person.

While children are especially vulnerable to heat illnesses, they may be unable to explain what is wrong but may act differently than usual. In extreme heat, consider changes in a child’s behavior to be heat stress.

Similarly, people with communication-related disabilities may have difficulty expressing a heat-related problem. In extreme heat, look for a change in behavior as a sign of heat stress.

Older adults face additional risk of heat stress and heat stroke, for a variety of reasons. The National Institute on Aging’s fact sheet explains more about how extreme heat can affect seniors.