People try to cool off in Downtown Jacksonville on a sweltering day last month.People try to cool off in Downtown Jacksonville on a sweltering day last month.

The brutal heat is back; Jax opens cooling centers

Published on August 7, 2023 at 12:09 pm

With a possibility of dangerously high temperatures, Jacksonville is activating its new plan for responding to excessive heat.

The city will open its cooling centers from noon to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Residents who need a place to cool off can visit the Beaches Branch Library, Highlands Regional Library, University Park Library, Main Library, Charles Webb Wesconnett Regional Library, and the Legends Center.

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JTA is offering free bus rides on the routes to cooling centers starting just before noon. Residents should tell the bus driver they are on their way to a cooling center.

Mayor Donna Deegan announced last week that the city had created an excessive heat incident plan in a summer that has been exceptionally warm.

The plan kicks into effect if the National Weather Service forecasts a heat emergency, which means heat indexes between 108 and 112 degrees for three consecutive days or when the index is expected to top 113 degrees for one day.

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Heat alerts are in effect in Northeast Florida for Monday and Tuesday, with high temperatures forecast in the upper 90s.

Meteorologist Megan Borowski of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network says the heat could be dangerous.

“When you combine a summertime heat with the elevated humidity levels, it’s going to feel between 100 and 110 degrees in many parts of our state,” Borowski said. “Spending prolonged time outside, especially doing strenuous activities, could lead to heat stroke or heat exhaustion.”

To remain safe, people should stay hydrated, wear light-colored and loose-fitting clothing and limit their time outside.

Borowski also reminds us never to leave children or pets unattended in vehicles.

author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 email Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.

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