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Medford cooling center opens back up for the weekend

According to the City of Medford, a cooling center, which was open a few weeks ago at the Medford Senior Center, is open once again from Friday until Sunday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Posted: Jul 9, 2021 5:01 PM

MEDFORD, Ore-- According to the City of Medford, a cooling center, which was open a few weeks ago at the Medford Senior Center at 510 E. Main Street, is open once again from Friday until Sunday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

People are are trying to stay safe by avoiding the heat may come in and use the facility to stay cool, grab a bottle of water or even grab some snacks.

"I think everybody in the valley is feeling it," said Medford Resident Jacqueline Plyler. "I think this is a terrible heat."

However for some community members, they want the city to do more to better protect its citzens especially after Medford reached a new record of 19 days in a row of 95 degrees or higher.

During the first six days of July, Medford had an average temperature of 99.7 degrees and three days of over a hundred degrees. That's a 16 degree swing compared to the first six days of July last year, and three more days of a hundred degrees or hotter. And the temperatures aren't expected to fall anytime soon.

"Whether you're talking about next week or the two-week outlook or the monthly outlook or the seasonal outlook, all of them are for the chances of above normal temperatures," said Ryan Sandler, the Warning Coordination Meterologist for the Medford National Weather Service.

"There needs to be more cooling stations," said Plyler. "They definitely, definitely need to do something during this heat wave to open up some kind of system."

For the homeless population, the heat is especially dangerous when the cooling center isn't open, as finding water and buildings with public A/C can be challenging as one man found out this past Monday.

"Right now being homeless and this heat has impacted me a lot," said Daniel Doty. "I was just in the hospital two nights ago with heat exhaustion." 

NewsWatch 12 asked the city if there are plans to add more cooling centers to the area and have them be open more frequently as these hotter temperatures are expected to stay in the area for an extended period of time.

"I think if we have more, 104 degree temperatures we will be looking to the nonprofit service providers in our community for help and to provide those services," said Deputy City Manger Kelly Madding.

However until those cooling centers can be set up and be staffed, Madding says that the community can also do its part to help those in need.

"If there is a church or a business, or even a household that wants to open during this time that wants to open their doors because they have air conditioning and want to bring people in. they can do that without any city approval," Madding said.

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