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DeKalb County opens cooling centers during heat advisory

The move comes as parts of the metro see hotter-than-usual temperatures

ATLANTA — DeKalb County is converting recreation centers and libraries into cooling centers during Georgia's ongoing heat advisory.

Nearly all of north Georgia was under some sort of heat alert on Wednesday. A heat advisory is typically issued when temperatures feel hotter than 103 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. This was the case for the county on Wednesday with the hot temperatures to stick around through the week, forecasters said.

Most DeKalb County libraries and recreation centers will be available as cooling centers during business hours. 

Joe Cox, the director of emergency services for Dekalb County, says the extensive plan was made in collaboration with offices across the county to prevent potential emergencies. 

"There certainly is a higher risk to our older adult community, children, as well as those who are sick. So in order to provide some protective actions, the county has implemented an excessive heat strategy to the system and mitigate and prevent any type of heat emergency," he said.

County leaders said for its recreation centers, a room in each building will be designated as a cooling area and water fountains will be accessible. There will also be free access to pools from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on days when a heat advisory is issued. 

Hamilton, Lucious, Sanders and Midway recreation centers will not function as cooling locations, a county news release reads. People can find their nearest recreation center on the DeKalb County website under the parks section and recreation programs and centers button.

As for county libraries, all locations will be available as cooling centers except Brookhaven Library and Covington Library. People can find a library near them using the DeKalb County library system website.

The DeKalb County Department of Human Services at 30 Warren St. in Atlanta will also be open to the public as a cooling center on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., during heat advisories, leaders said.

DeKalb County's eldest residents who need assistance can call the Senior Link Line at (770) 322-2950 for an assessment of need and help.

The DeKalb County Community Development Department is currently housing unhoused residents in local hotels and motels. Persons in DeKalb County who need homelessness assistance or housing services can contact DeKalb County Coordinated Entry by calling (404) 687-3500. 

Director Cox explained the housing part of the program was a continuation of an initiative that came up during the winter months. 

More information about cooling center can be found here.


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