Madison leaders urge people to use cooling centers

Cooling centers open at Warner Park, Monona Terrace
Madison leaders urge people to use cooling centers

City of Madison leaders are encouraging residents who need relief from the heat to use city cooling centers.

Cooling centers are at Warner Park and at the Monona Terrace location that have cots for 60 people.

The cooling center at the Warner Park recreation center will remain open until noon Saturday, when the temperatures are expected to drop.

The cooling center at the Monona Terrace will be open until 8 a.m. Friday, then switch over to the Madison Senior Center through noon Saturday at 330 West Mifflin St.

Officials said there is food and water at the cooling centers, and Madison Metro is providing free rides to the Monona Terrace and Warner Park locations.

For the second consecutive day, the temperature has reached triple digits in Madison on Thursday. For the fourth consecutive day, Madison has set a record high temperature.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said he remains concerned about people who don’t have air conditioning or people who are afraid to turn it on because they think they can’t afford it.

City leaders are encouraging everyone to check on neighbors, especially the elderly, and those with chronic health issues.

They said there is room at the cooling centers for those in need of relief.

“I think (the cooling centers) could be utilized more, and I would highly recommend that if you don’t have air conditioning and you don’t have a good environment, if it’s hot at home, use the cooling centers at Warner Park and the Monona Terrace give yourself the relief for a period of time,” said James Keiken, assistant chief at the Madison Fire Department.

City health officials are also urging people to postpone or cancel all non-essential outdoor activities, including youth sports.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for much of the southern and western part of the state, including the Madison area, until 10 p.m. Friday.

Hospital emergency rooms and paramedics have been busy treating people who are suffering from heat exhaustion.

Officials at UW Hospital and Clinics said about 20 people have been treated for dehydration, dizziness and other heat-related symptoms.

St. Mary’s Hospital said more than a dozen patients have been treated Thursday at its facilities for heat-related issues.