Special to the Press
BRISTOL - Itâ€™s been a soggy summer so far with plenty of rainy days this season and high humidity on the days when the sun does make an appearance. The next few days are going to be more of the same, according to local meteorologists.
According to WFSB Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest, temperatures spiked into the 90s on Wednesday. Today is expected to be just as hot and sticky and the forecast for Friday indicates a high in the 90s. The temperatures have to be 90 degrees or above for at least three consecutive days to constitute a heat wave. And while some might welcome the warmth, for others, oppressive heat can be dangerous. Those with asthma or respiratory illness, the very young and the elderly should be especially cautious during a heat wave.
As the temperature continues to climb into the 80s and 90s, more and more people are seeking shelter from the heat at one of the many cooling centers in the area.
Many people flock to Rockwell Park where they find a water oasis with a splash pad and swimming pool. The splash pad is free and open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.
â€śI love it. I come every summer with my son,â€ť said Krystal Rodriguez, who along with Aixa Agostl came all the way from Waterbury to enjoy the splash pad. â€śItâ€™s a pretty good idea. It has a little bit of everything for people to enjoy,â€ť Agostl added.
The Rockwell Park pool is also open from 1 to 7 p.m. each day. It costs $1 for residents under 17, $2 for adults and $1.50 for seniors. For non-residents, itâ€™s $8 for kids under 17, $12 for adults and $10 for seniors.
â€śThis is our first summer at the pool and every time weâ€™ve been here itâ€™s been wonderful,â€ť said Bridget Cyr, who visited the pool with her twins.
Cyr said she loves the pool because itâ€™s not too crowded, has lifeguards and is reasonably priced.
If you donâ€™t want to jump into water, there are also many air-conditioned buildings that offer a haven for those who need it.
Bristol cooling centers
nThe Bristol Public Main Library, located at 5 High St., operates as a cooling center during their regular business hours and are occasionally open for additional times on especially hot days when directed by the mayor. They are open Monday to Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
nManross Memorial Library at 260 Central St. in Forestville and the Bristol Senior Center are also cooling centers. They are open from Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
nThe Bristol Senior Center offers many activities and programs for its members while they escape the heat. They are open Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are located at 240 Stafford Ave.
nBrianâ€™s Angels operates as a cooling center seven days a week from 1 to 5 p.m. at St. Vincent DePaul Homeless Center at 19 Jacobs St. They serve sandwiches and snacks there for the homeless.
There are also a multitude of cooling centers outside Bristol.
While the Terryville Public Library isnâ€™t officially designated as a cooling center, they welcome anyone who needs to escape from the sunâ€™s rays. They are open Monday to Wednesday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In Plainville and Southington, residents can escape the heat at the library and the senior center.
Plainville and southington cooling centers
nThe Plainville Public Library, located at 56 East Main St., is open Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
nThe Plainville Senior Center at 200 East St. is open Monday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
nThe Southington Calendar House, a senior center, welcomes any member of the community to cool off at their center. They are open daily 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 388 Pleasant St.
nThe Southington Public Library also encourages people to come to their building at 255 Main St. on hot days. They are open Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy also reminded residents to stay cool during these high temperatures.
â€śA few simple steps can greatly reduce heat-related issues, especially for the elderly, the very young, and people with respiratory ailments who are more susceptible to the effects of high temperatures,â€ť Malloy said in a press release. â€śTowns and cities across the state have cooling centers available. Any resident looking for a place to cool off should call 2-1-1 to find out where their closest cooling center is located.â€ť
Precautions residents should take to protect themselves during periods of extreme heat can be found online by visiting www.ready.gov/heat .
To find other cooling centers that are open call 211.