Hot, hot, hot: Fans donated as city opens cooling centres
LONDON, ONT. -- As a stifling heat falls over London Middlesex, one group has found a way to help out.
The Urban Haven Project, based out of Beth Emanuel Church, has purchased 100 electric pedestal fans with donations, and is giving them away through its Fantastic Initiative.
Beth Emanuel Pastor Dan Morand says it’s a small thing they can do to help out.
“We’re giving a hundred fans away to families that can’t afford a fan. I mean, it’s hot, it’s hot right now. And I can’t imagine. I’ve been in some of the places that it’s stifling. So we thought a fan is at least something.”
It couldn’t have come at a better time. A heat warning has been issued for Tuesday and Wednesday. It comes with high humidity, a UV index in the extreme range, and temperatures soaring.
Public Health Inspector Randy Walker, with the Middlesex-London Health Unit advises seeking out shade where you can.
“Where I’m standing now on an asphalt service, the radiant heat that’s reflecting off the asphalt - the asphalt holds heat so the temperature that I’m exposed to now is probably 10 to 15 degrees hotter than if I take two steps into the shade on a grass surface. So easily, I instantaneously feel the relief.”
The city has set up cooling centres, but a number of services remain closed at this time, including splash pads, popular for children to cool off.
The city’s Emergency Services Manager Dave O’Brien said they’re doing the best they can in light of pandemic measures that remain in place.
“We’re still in the process of working through our reintroduction of services. Many things underway as we speak. COVID has added a number of complexities and we do the best we can and we’re certainly here to support the public during the heat wave that’s existing.”
Mayor Ed Holder explained why municipal pools won't be opening during his daily pandemic briefing Tuesday.
“The answer is not yet. And that’s a very good reason why at this point won’t be opening. I think there are a couple of things. One is preparation that is necessary to make the pools available to use. And second the staffing that goes with it," Holder said.
"We’re optimistic that it will be soon. We just ask people to be a little patient. It wouldn’t have mattered for this current heat wave but it certainly would have been nice because of what is going on today and tomorrow.”
Cooling centres open Tuesday and Wednesday
WIth temperatures expected to soar into the mid-30s Tuesday and Wednesday, the city of London opened a pair of cooling centres for residents.
They include the Canada Games Aquatic Centre at 1045 Wonderland Rd. and the South London Community Centre, 1119 Jalna Blvd.
They will be both open from 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day.
COVID-19 safety measures such as physical distancing will be enforced.
Water will be available but other amenities inside the buildings such as swimming pools, will not.
Meanwhile, water fountains have reopened in several city parks including Victoria Park, Gibbons Park, Springbank West Park, Pump House Park and the Springbank House.