Where to keep cool in Labor Day weekend heatwave with nowhere to go

Published: Aug. 30, 2023 at 9:41 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Temperatures are forecasted to be in the high 90′s for the Labor Day weekend.

With the Fairfax Pool closed for the season, along with the L.E. Phillips Memorial Library being closed on Sundays and holidays, options to keep cool for the latest heat wave are limited.

“It’s just going to be nasty out and we’re going to take all the help we can get and try our best to fulfill the need,” said Sam Runge. He is the on-site coordinator for Community Haven House.

“And typically we are not open on Mondays during the summer, but this upcoming Labor Day, because it’s going to be so, so hot outside. We plan to be open from 12 to 4 p.m. that day,” said Runge.

He said there is room for anyone and everyone without a place to go, or even for those who do not have air-conditioning.

“We don’t really have a maximum capacity. So theoretically, as many people as we could safely fit in a building to where there’s adequate breathing room and to where it’s not a fire hazard,” said Runge.

In a city without a dedicated cooling center, Runge said looking for those in need during extreme weather is important.

“Because there really aren’t many other publicly available spaces that can be accessible to our guests if we weren’t open? And so there would be the need and we’re here to fill it regardless of what that is,” said Runge.

According to the following Facebook post from the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, it’s important to keep an eye out for heat related illness:

Signs of heat exhaustion include being faint or dizzy, along with cool, pale, clammy skin with a rapid weak pulse.

Heat stroke symptoms include a throbbing headache, dry, red hot skin with a body temperature above 103 degrees. The heat-related illness requires emergency medical care.

Runge said he would appreciate any volunteers for the Labor Day weekend. He said anyone interested in helping out can reach out through the Community Haven House Facebook page.