Dangerous Delaware Valley heat wave sees residents looking for relief

Philadelphia cooling centers and shelters are having a difficult time keeping up and keeping cool, due to the oppressive heat. While some are struggling in the current heat wave, others are trying to find ways to make it fun.

But, being out in the heat also means cutting corners.

"We’re not doing a lot of walking. We’re paying a lot of money for extra parking, so we do not walk in the heat," explained New Yorker Al Carraway.

Carraway is visiting from New York with his kids, but is limiting their time outdoors.


"Water fountains are turned off. We went to three different places and they’re all off. Makes it a bit more hot," Carraway added. "We actually just moved from Arizona. It was 118 degrees the day we moved, but it feels hotter here. I mean, it’s humidity. It’s unbearable."

Over in Montgomery County, it’s a Code Red hot weather health warning, issued when the heat index meets or exceeds 100 degrees. And, that means free, ice cold water at the Norristown Hospitality Center. Supplies are in higher demand than usual.

"Just yesterday, we had a staff meeting and my staff said we have run out of water, because we’ve been giving about 90 to 100 water bottles a day to people that walk up to the window," said Executive Director Sunanda Charles.

Those in need can also come by for a meal between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.

"If they come in during the heat, they can come and stay inside for a little bit to cool down," Charles added.

Meantime, back in Philadelphia, calls are steadily coming into in-house operators and those working remotely at the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, as people look for help cooling off.

"We provide everything from cooling tips to locations of cooling centers which can be libraries or SEPTA buses and, in extreme cases, people can also call in and let us know that they are suffering from some sort of heat stress," Philadelphia Helpline Director Nolan Lawrence explained.



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