CLEVELAND — With temperatures expected to rise up to more than 90 degrees over the coming days, Northeast Ohio governments are expanding access to community "cooling centers" for those seeking shelter from the sweltering heat.
The cities of Cleveland, Akron, and Canton have announced extended hours at several community centers where anyone in need can relax and cool off. In Akron, four locations will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on June 15 and 16. In Cleveland, eight community centers will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. from today until June 16.
In Canton, the shelter at Garaux Park, located at 3801 13th St SW will be open on June 15 and 16 from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) will offer free service for anyone who needs transportation to the Garaux Shelter from any regular stop to the Cornerstone Transit Center on Cherry Ave. SE. Once at the Cornerstone Transit center, utilize route #106 or #113 for transportation to the Garaux Shelter and let the bus driver know you are in route to the cooling center. There will be no fee. Return transportation will be provided from the Garaux Shelter to Cornerstone Transit Center on Cherry Ave. SE free of charge by utilizing route #106 or #113.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan's office said all other community centers would be open during normal business hours for those in need to get out of the heat. A full list of community centers can be found on the Akron Recreation and Parks division's website.
Further north, the Cleveland Department of Public Works said that regular recreation programming will go on as scheduled at each community center and that each site will have designated cooling areas in the facility.
Horrigan said the Akron will continue to monitor the temperatures and extend the cooling center hours as necessary. Normal hours are expected to resume on June 17.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 700 deaths are attributed to extreme heat and heat-related illnesses each year. Experts advise taking protective actions—including staying in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible, staying properly hydrated and wearing loose, lightweight and light-colored clothing—when temperatures climb.
The full list of Akron community centers honoring the city's extended hours are:
- Lawton Street Community Center: 1225 Lawton Street Akron, OH 44320; 330-375-2825
- Mason Park Community Center: 700 E. Exchange Street Akron, OH 44306; 330-375-2821
- Patterson Park Community Center: 800 Patterson Avenue Akron, OH 44310; 330-375-2819
- Summit Lake Community Center 380 W. Crosier Street Akron, OH 44311: 330-375-2826
The Cleveland locations are:
- Zelma George Neighborhood Resource & Recreation Center: 3155 Martin L. King Blvd.
- Collinwood Neighborhood Resource & Recreation Center: 16300 Lakeshore Blvd.
- Halloran Skating Rink: 3550 W. 117th
- Kovacic Neighborhood Resource & Recreation Center: 6250 St. Clair Ave.
- Michael Zone Neighborhood Resource & Recreation Center: 6301 Lorain Ave.
- Sterling Neighborhood Resource & Recreation Center: 1380 E. 32nd Street
- Frederick Douglass Neighborhood Resource & Recreation Center: 15401 Miles Ave.
- Glenville Neighborhood Resource & Recreation Center: 680 E. 113th St.
The Emergency Management Agencies for both Wayne and Richland counties said they are also working to establish cooling centers as many residents remain without power.