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Spokane temps expected to hit 106 degrees; city sets up cooling centers

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(The Center Square) – Temperatures in Spokane could breach 100 degrees by Monday and continue through next week, triggering the activation of cooling centers around the city.

Local law requires Spokane to set up the cooling centers “when the temperature is predicted by the National Weather Service to be 95 (ninety-five) degrees Fahrenheit or higher for two (2) consecutive days or more.”

The National Weather Service’s forecast into next week calls for temperatures as high as 97 degrees on Sunday, with a high of 106 degrees by Wednesday. The scorching temperatures are expected to continue.

Spokane is setting up cooling centers for anyone to use at its various libraries and the Trent Resource and Assistance Center, or TRAC, the city’s largest congregate homeless shelter. TRAC currently maintains around 150 beds; however, surge capacity will begin Sunday.

Additionally, “per newly-enacted state law, the City of Spokane will not shut off access to utilities for lack of payment during periods when the National Weather Service has issued an extreme heat advisory,” according to a news release.

Just a few weeks ago, Spokane’s city council passed an ordinance codifying renters’ right to air conditioning and prohibiting landlords from preventing the use of cooling devices. The council cited the region’s 2021 heat dome as a factor in passing the ordinance.

Sarah Nuss, director of Spokane’s Office of Emergency Management, previously said that the event contributed to the deaths of 19 individuals, many of whom were housed and not experiencing homelessness.

The Spokane Transit Authority will also offer free fares for individuals traveling to and from a cooling center, and the Salvation Army is providing vans to transport people to local shelters.

Residents are free to use Spokane’s 19 parks, which include splash pads, and the city’s six aquatic centers, which offer free swimming from Monday to Saturday.

City officials are urging residents to drink water and dress lightly over the next week. They also ask everyone to apply sunscreen and not leave kids or pets in vehicles.

Spokane County and portions of land owned by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources are currently under a burn ban.

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