Cooling centers open for folks to escape the heat
Centers open in Ritzville, Lind, Washtucna and Othello
Last updated 7/1/2021 at 2:38pm
RITZVILLE - Cooling centers for those in need of a place to spend the hottest hours of the day have been set up in Lind and Ritzville by the Adams County Health Department.
Zion Philadelphia United Church of Christ is open for those needing to escape the heat from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and the Lind Grade School Gym is open as a cooling center from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The cooling centers opened Tuesday, June 29.
Pastor Janel Rieve said she received an email from Karen Potts, RN, with the Adams County Health Department asking if the Zion Philadelphia church would be open to being set up as a cooling center.
"I called one of my trustees, and he said, 'I don't see why we couldn't; just make sure the air conditioning is working,'" Rieve said as she relaxed in front of a fan with fellow volunteers Jadine Garms and Ernest Ripoli Wednesday afternoon.
Rieve said Potts delivered a lot of water, as well as some cookies to serve to those seeking relief from the heat.
Masks are not required, but there are some by the front door for anyone who wants to wear one.
"I had a sign saying masks were required, but the state opened up June 30. And Karen suggested people might not come in if masks are required," Rieve said.
"This is a state emergency with the heat," Garms said.
Staff running the cooling center at the Lind Grade School Gym are asking people to wear a mask. All ages are welcome, and children must be accompanied by an adult. They also suggest bringing water, books, toys, pillows and blankets to nap on. There is free Wi Fi available for those who wish to bring a tablet or laptop.
"We will keep doing this as long as there is a need," Rieve said.
Zion Philadelphia is located at 301 East Broadway Avenue; at the corner of Palouse and Broadway.
The Lind Grade School is located at 206 W. 3rd Street. They will continue to keep the cooling center open all week, if needed.
A cooling center has also been opened at the Washtucna Community Center on Main Street, open this week from 1-5 p.m.
MidColumbia Library is operating cooling centers, including the Othello branch, open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.