Detroit opens cooling centers for relief amid excessive heat warning

Shawntay Lewis
The Detroit News

With oppressive heat in the forecast, the city of Detroit and the health department are taking steps to prepare residents for scorching temperatures.

Detroit is offering temperature relief by turning recreation centers and libraries into cooling centers through the heat advisory, which is from noon Wednesday to 8 a.m. Thursday.

"Young children, older adults and those living with chronic medical conditions are especially vulnerable. The Detroit Health Department is working closely with Parks & Recreation Department to provide a safe space that is accessible to all residents," Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair Razo said in a release.

A group of boys toss a football around while splashing in the Detroit River at Belle Isle on a 90-degree day in Detroit on Sunday, September 24, 2017.

Sweltering heat is one of the most fatal weather-related conditions, according to the National Weather Service National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Some of the best ways to avoid injury or illness is to slow down and stay cool, according to the NOAA. 

The Detroit Health Department is recommending residents limit outside activities during 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and look out for signs of heat exhaustion. DHD said in a release that these signs can include nausea, confusion, and a slowed or rapid heart rate.

School closings:Some Southeast Michigan schools canceling classes due to expected heat

List of cooling centers in Detroit:

Cooling centers are open and operational until the extreme heat advisory is lifted.

  • Adams Butzel Complex, 10500 Lyndon (M-F, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Farwell Recreation Center, 2711 E. Outer Drive (M-F, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; not open Saturdays)
  • Lasky Recreation Center, 13200 Fenelon (M-F, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.; not open Saturdays)
  • Patton Recreation Center, 2301 Woodmere (M-F, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Kemeny Recreation Center, 2260 S. Fort (M-F, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Crowell Recreation Center, 16630 Lahser (M-F, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.; not open Saturdays)
  • Heilmann Recreation Center, 19601 Crusade (M-F, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

The Detroit Public Library will also offer relief from extreme temperatures. All library branches are open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays.

Due to COVID-19, time spent in a library cooling center is limited to two hours and 50% capacity. 

Detroit Public Library cooling centers:

  • Main Library, 5201 Woodward 
  • Campbell Branch, 8733 W. Vernor Highway
  • Edison Branch, 18400 Joy 
  • Jefferson Branch, 12350 E. Outer Drive
  • Parkman Branch, 1766 Oakman 
  • Redford Branch, 21200 W. Grand River Ave.
  • Wilder Branch, 7140 E. Seven Mile 

Residents who utilize public cooling centers are required to follow COVID-19 safety protocols. 

"High-touch areas and restrooms will be disinfected every two hours and maximum capacity limits at each site have been lowered. PPE and bottled water will also be provided," Razo said.

Cooling centers in Warren

Cooling centers will open from 10 a.m. Wednesday to 8 a.m. Thursday. The recreation centers will be open all night for those with no air conditioning.

  • Fitzgerald Recreation Center, 4355 E. 9 Mile (9/Ryan)SW
  • Owen Jax Recreation Center,  8207 E. 9 Mile (9/Van Dyke)SE

The splash pad will be open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday and permanently opens Friday for the rest of the summer through September.

Cooling center in Highland Park

• Ernest T. Ford Rec Center, 10 Pitkin, open Wednesday and Thursday

Dearborn centers

• Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave.

•  Bryant Library, 22100 Michigan Ave.

•  Henry Ford Centennial Library, 16301 Michigan Ave.

•  Esper Library, 12929 W. Warren Ave.

• Dearborn Police Department, 16909 Michigan Ave.

Tips on managing extreme heat

  • If you're outdoors, dress lightly with loose fitting clothing that reflect heat and sunlight.
  • If you're working outside, take frequent breaks in the shade. It can decrease the chances of experiencing heat exhaustion.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and avoid heat exhaustion.
  • It can make a difference to eat light foods, like fruit, to support easy digestion and health during extreme temperatures.
  • Take cold baths and showers to cool your body temperature down. 
  • Check on your family members with an increased vulnerability to heat exposure. Keep them safe in spaces with constant temperature relief.
  • Do not leave anyone in a vehicle during extreme heat--it can leave a person or animal at risk of developing hyperthermia.
  • If you have the opportunity, spend time in the coolest places possible. Take advantage of air conditioned malls and libraries as a relief. It is also an opportunity to stay inside and use air conditioning or electrical fans around the house.

"I encourage all Detroiters to protect themselves from the heat. Check on your neighbors, and don’t forget to take care of pets," Razo said in a release.