A heat wave alert from Fraser Health would be White Rock's cue to open a cooling centre again, according to Fire Chief Ed Wolfe. (File photo)

City of White Rock cooling centre to be opened with mercury set to rise

Forecast calls for temperatures in the low 30s through latter part of the week

Hours after White Rock Fire Chief Ed Wolfe said the city is monitoring heat levels to assess whether it will set up a cooling centre again, the city announced that it would indeed be opening one.

The city announced Wednesday morning that the White Rock Community Centre (15154 Russell Ave.) will serve as a cooling centre on both Friday and Saturday this week, from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.

“Everyone is welcome to come in, cool off, have some water and watch the Tokyo Olympic Games on TV,” the release states, noting that temperatures are expected to top 30 C this weekend.

The announcement also requests that visitors to the centre wear masks.

Prior to the announcement, Wolfe said in a statement that “typically, an alert is issued when Environment Canada forecasts three or more consecutive days of 32C or higher.”

• READ ALSO: Where to go in Surrey to stay cool as heat wave looms

Wolfe also offered general advice for dealing with a heat wave situation.

“As temperatures rise, people are reminded to keep hydrated, check on vulnerable neighbours and keep cool by the water, in the shade, and by heading indoors to malls and other facilities,” he said.

“Remember also to close shades and curtains, have a fan available, if possible, and use a bath or shower to cool down,” he added.

• READ ALSO: Surrey needs cooling centres for homeless to ‘chill out,’ councillor says

The City of Surrey also announced this week that a number of civic facilities would be open for those looking for a place to cool off during the expected temperature spike. In South Surrey, locations include the South Surrey Recreation Centre (14601 20 Ave.); Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre (16855 24 Ave.); South Surrey Arena (2199 148 St.); Kensington Prairie Community Centre (16824 32 Ave.); Ocean Park Library (12854 17 Ave.) and Semiahmoo Library (1815 152 St.).

Meanwhile, the Salvation Army announced Wednesday that its locations across the province – including in White Rock and Surrey – “are prepared and ready to help vulnerable people, including the elderly and those living on the streets, by providing them hydration items, shelter and other cooling essentials.”

“With temperatures on the rise, many of our locations are taking action to ensure the health and safety of people in our communities,” said Salvation Army’s Mike Leland in a news release.

“Many people living in crisis lack access to clean water, sunscreen and other essentials. It is our responsibility to ensure that they stay safe.”

The Salvation Army will also be accepting donations of sunscreen, hats and bottled water, the release notes.

In White Rock, the Salvation Army is located at 15417 Roper Ave., while the Surrey location is located at 13474 96 Ave.

– with files from Nick Greenizan


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