Salvation Army and libraries among those offering a place to cool down

SWLA offering cooling stations amongst increasing temperatures
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 11:36 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - For Southwest Louisiana, it’s another day of extreme temperatures with the highs pushing 99 to 100 degrees. It’s conditions like these that can severely increase the risk of heat stroke and heat exhaustion making staying outside potentially dangerous if you don’t have a way to cool down. That’s why many organizations and businesses, like the Salvation Army and public libraries, are opening their doors to those who are trying to cool off.

Lt. Tim Morrison is the Corps. Officer and pastor of the Salvation Army in Lake Charles. He hopes the community and those that need to find a way out of the heat will utilize their facility and those like it.

He says it was donations from the community that helped get the station up and running, “Waters Edge donated. We got a call from Mayor Hunter saying, ‘hey I got some water for you.’ They dropped off a pallet of water yesterday to help us get up and going.”

The Salvation Army cooling station will be opening early and are trying to do whatever it takes to keep people safe.

“I want to keep people here as long as I can. Around 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. is our goal. We want to hit the hottest part of the day,” said Morrison.

In addition to shade and cool air, the station is also offering showers and a meal to those who come by.

“I’m hoping tomorrow to do pans of enchiladas and do a hot meal as well,” said Morrison.

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There are other stations across the Lake Area that are also providing a place to beat the heat and cool down such as the Calcasieu Public Libraries.

Public information officer for Calcasieu Parish Libraries, Christy Comeaux, says the libraries will also be welcoming the public to swing by and cool off.

“We have 12 branches located all throughout Calcasieu parish and anybody who is maybe hot in the afternoon, we invite them to come over pick up a book, play a little game, or even just hang out with us and cool off during the hot days we have,” said Comeaux.

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The Salvation Army Cooling Station is located at 3020 Legion St.

There is also Water’s Edge Church at 2760 Power Centre Pkwy.

Calcasieu Parish Libraries are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Lake Charles Senior Center at 1530 5th St. is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The city of Lake Charles is also reminding the public that under the authority granted by Gov. Edwards’ executive order, Mayor Nic Hunter has authorized the waving of public transit fees until September 1, 2023, in order for the public to access cooling centers more easily.