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Tucson opens cooling stations to combat excessive heat

In an effort to meet the need for respite from the record high temperatures this summer, Tucson has opened cooling stations the city through Friday, and for any day after that has temperatures exceeding 110 degrees.

These stations, one in each ward, will be open from from noon to 6 p.m., officials said.

The centers for each ward are:

  • Ward 1: El Rio Center, 1390 W. Speedway
  • Ward 2: Udall Sr. Center, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
  • Ward 3: Donna Liggins, 2160 N. 6th Ave.
  • Ward 4: Clements, 8155 E. Poinciana Dr.
  • Ward 5: El Pueblo, 101 W. Irvington Rd., Building 9
  • Ward 6: Randolph Center, 200 S. Alvernon Way

The city facilities are being opened up for those who are vulnerable to the intense heat such as homeless people or lower-income families living with broken or malfunctioning air conditioning, said Nate Sigal, a spokesman for Mayor Regina Romero.

“I think this is sort of a pilot. and we may adjust during this summer, based on what we're hearing," Sigal said. "We think we've got a good spread throughout the city in terms of having at least one for ward. But, we'll see what the demand is and what, what traffic's like and then we may even adjust this summer if the need arises.”

In addition to these cooling stations, the Tucson Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness has a list of more cooling centers and locations for water and supplies.

These additional locations where people can get out of the heat and sun include:

  • Salvation Army Hospitality House, 1002 N Main Ave. Open noon to 5 p.m. all week
  • Salvation Army South Corps Community Center, 1625 S. 3rd Ave. Open noon to 5 p.m. all week
  • La Frontera RAPP,  1082 E. Ajo Way (6 people maximum inside). Open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Grace St Paul’s Episcopalian Church, 2331 E. Adams St. Open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m to noon.

Water and supplies are available at:

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  • Primavera Foundation Homeless Intervention and Prevention Drop-In Center, 811 S. 6th Ave. Open Monday, Wednesday Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Casa Paloma Women’s Shelter, call 520-623-5111 for location. Open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Sister Jose Women’s Shelter, 1050 S. Park Ave. Open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. -12 p.m.

Helping people beat the heat was a bit easier before the pandemic due to a lack of CDC social distancing guidelines, higher capacity and the ability to allow women to spend the day inside, said Jean Fedigan, executive director of Sister Jose Women’s Shelter.

“This is the most dangerous time of the year, and we are very worried about these women and the people who are on the street tend to have a mental illness. And it's devastating,” Fedigan said. “So we do everything we can; if I could find a different way right now I’d do that.”

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Greg Macelroy/Cronkite News

Excessive heat has caused the city of Tucson to open more cooling stations in each ward.