With summer almost here, Pam Tucker, the director of the county's Emergency Services Division, says there's help for Columbia County residents to beat the heat.
Senior citizens relax at the Bessie Thomas Community Center in Grovetown. Senior's gather daily at the center for lunch and daily activities such as bingo. The center has been designated as one of Columbia County's Cooling Centers where people can escape the heat during the summer.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Beginning today, three cooling centers will be set up in the county to offer the public refuge from the sun's scorching rays. The centers, which are handicapped accessible, will operate until Sept. 30.
"This just provides a place with air conditioning for those people who just don't have anywhere else to go during the hot part of the day," Tucker said.
The centers were implemented about 15 to 20 years ago.
Amenities that the centers offer include a lounge area with a television, air-conditioned gym with a walking track, and vending machines.
Shortly after summer makes its debut, Tucker said, the centers are not heavily populated, but once the heat index rises, so does the population.
Although the centers are targeted toward senior citizens, people of all ages are welcome.
"It's primarily for seniors because they are the ones that are impacted the most by the heat," Tucker said.
"But young children and people (with) illnesses on certain kinds of medications who do not have air conditioning also find the centers to be helpful."
COOLING CENTER LOCATIONS
- Bessie Thomas Community Center, 5913 Euchee Creek Drive in Grovetown. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact Jeff Asmann at 556-0308.
- Patriots Park, 5445 Columbia Road in Grovetown. 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Contact Charlie Beale at 863-7523.
- Wesley United Methodist Church, 825 N. Belair Road in Evans. 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact Pat Williams 869-0888.
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