City organizations offer relief as temperatures soar

If you’re in Metro Atlanta this weekend, you’ll feel temperatures at or above 100 degrees.

The extreme heat started today causing dozens of people to seek relief in cooling stations.

(Click for a list of cooling stations in Atlanta.)

The Salvation Army has a cooling station in South Atlanta just off Metropolitan Parkway. Inside, people took a break from the hot weather, got water and ice cream. Salvation Army Maj. Todd Hawkes says a lot of people needed relief earlier in the day.

“There were 70 folks who actually had come at that point,” said Maj. Hawkes.

Hawkes says the Salvation Army was also giving away box fans at their location in Atlanta and their cooling stations in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties.

“They’re taking some water and just appreciate the fans,” said Maj. Hawkes. “They said everybody needs a fan. Particularly when the heat is as high as it is just to blow that air around.”

Whether it’s cooling stations operated by the Salvation Army or the city of Atlanta, most of them serve senior citizens. George Dusenbury heads Atlanta’s parks, recreation and cultural affairs department.

“Those are the people who are the most susceptible to heat and oftentimes are in situations where they don’t have air conditioning or they’re in an isolated environment,” Dusenbury.

In those isolated environments, Dusenbury says most people either don’t have air conditioning or have units that don’t work. Either way, he hopes people come to the stations.

“Don’t think, ‘Oh, I know my air conditioning is not working but I think I can make it.’ If you have any doubt, please come down.”

The city of Atlanta and the Salvation Army will have cooling stations open this weekend.