Dangerous heat could continue through weekend

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By Kaitlin Hoskins, News Editor

With dangerous levels of heat in the forecast, the Gadsden-Etowah Emergency Management Agency (EMA) has announced that a number of cooling centers will be open in the city.
Triple-digit heat indexes started Tuesday and continued into Thursday, and are expected to continue through the weekend. The heat situation can be dangerous for people outside or those without air conditioning.
According to the National Weather Service in Calera, prolonged exposure can increase your risk of heat related illnesses, like heat stroke or heat exhaustion. To help counteract the risk, residents should take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water.
The following cooling centers will be open:
• Salvation Army, located at 1101 1st Avenue, Gadsden, will be open from 1 to 6 p.m., Friday through Saturday. Day guests are invited for supper at 5 p.m. The overnight shelter is operating at capacity at this time.
• Gadsden Public Library, all three locations. The main branch of the library, located at 254 South College Street, Gadsden, will be open Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Alabama City branch, located at 2700 West Meighan Boulevard, Gadsden, will be open Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The East Gadsden branch, located at 809 East Broad Street, Gadsden, will be open Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Freedom Center located at 1601 West Meighan Boulevard, Gadsden, will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.
The heat index Friday is expected to be 111 degrees, with an actual temperature of 97 degrees. The high temperature Saturday is expected to be 99 degrees.
The heat advisory is set to expire Friday at 9 p.m., but it may be extended through the weekend.
Gadsden-Etowah EMA director Derek Mummert announced at the August 22 Gadsden City Council meeting that residents should check on elderly or disabled neighbors and relatives, as well as pay extra attention to outside pets. People working outside in the heat should stay in the shade when possible and if anyone starts exhibiting signs of heat illnesses, act immediately, by moving them somewhere cooler, giving them water and calling 911.

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