City of Savannah opens cooling centers

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 11:35 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The City of Savannah is opening cooling centers to help provide relief from extreme heat.

Three community centers are expanding to serve as cooling centers for residents, effective immediately.

“This is all out of an abundance of caution that we want to make sure that the city is being very careful and cautious when we’re talking about our residents’ health and safety,” City of Savannah Communications Director Nick Zoller said. “We’re not opening it to reach a certain threshold of use. We’re opening it to give that resource to our community.”

The following centers are open to provide residents relief from the heat:

  • Crusader Community Center, 81 Coffee Bluff Villa Rd., until 8 p.m.
  • Eastside Regional Community Center, 415 Goebel Ave., until 8 p.m.
  • Moses Jackson Community Center, 1410-A Richards St., until 8 p.m.

Chatham County, along with other counties, are under a heat advisory Thursday until 8 p.m.

For some folks, like construction workers, and others in the community their job requires them to brave the heat.

“We ask our citizens to be patient with us as we’re out here working in the heat doing the best we can to get the job done,” said Nathan Benson, the director of Occupational Safety, Risk Management and Disability Services for Chatham County.

Benson estimates that of the 2,000 employees they have more than half of them work outside.

“Everything from public works, canal maintenance, roadside maintenance, ditch maintenance,” Benson said.

Benson says he communicates with the crews often making sure they have cold water, ice and even ice pops. He also encourages them to look out for one another while on worksites. He says they’re always working to be as prepared as possible for this kind of weather.

“Part of our year-round campaigns is first aid. We go over heat stress and dehydration. We got to coach people because a lot of people don’t realize dehydration doesn’t start today when it’s hot. It started a couple days ago,” Benson said.

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