More Southland heat, some cooling centers extending hours

Aime Chambert runs a cooling center at Asian Youth Center in San Gabriel.
Aime Chambert runs a cooling center at Asian Youth Center in San Gabriel. Corey Moore/KPCC

Forecasters say we can expect another scorcher in the Southland on Thursday before a dip in temperatures brings relief for the weekend. The thermometer read around 110 degrees in some inland and valley areas today. The temps weren't quite so high in the San Gabriel Valley, but it sure felt like it.

For people with no air conditioning at home and looking for relief without spending money in a mall or cafe, there were places to go like Asian Youth Center on West Clary Avenue. It's not far from the San Gabriel Mission - and it's one of more than 50 centers that L.A. County has designated for anyone to use, especially seniors and others with health issues.

They’ve got the air conditioner going in a big empty room - empty, because people don’t know yet that they lounge, play cards, read, whatever for as long as they want during the day to keep cool.

"Anybody from the public can just walk in and tell us that they need to refresh and cool down," says Aime Chambert, who runs the center. "We'll bring them here and they can stay here as long as we're open for the public. We're open Monday thru Friday from 9 to 6."

Chambert says the Asian Youth Center offers the free service not just during the summer but year round, anytime it's unbearably hot.

"I actually didn't know that," says Theresa Johnson who manages Smith Park Pool right across the street. She says she'll spread the word to folks who pack the area to take a dip on hot days like this to escape heat exhaustion, cramps and sunstroke.

"We have people waiting at one o'clock, ready to get in and eager to stay until we close at 3:30. And once they're done there, if they can sneak into the wading pool, if they're young enough to sneak into the wading pool, they go and enjoy the wading pool. It's open daily as well."

Some libraries and rec centers that act as cooling spots have decided to extend their hours during the heat wave. There's more information at L.A. County's 2-1-1 hotline.

With temperatures high but humidity low, the L.A. County Fire Department has added more crews to prepare for trouble.

Fire authorities say anyone living in the local mountains and foothills should clear away brush around the house - and get those evacuation plans ready, just in case.


Cooling centers in Los Angeles (by district)

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