Chandler, Tempe take steps to combat ongoing 110-degree heat that remains in forecast

With 110-degree heat forecast this weekend, Tempe and Chandler are taking steps to help the the most vulnerable stay cool. –Tempe photos

June historically is the hottest month of the year in the Valley, including the all-time high temperature of 122 degrees in 1990.

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In fact, four of the five hottest days ever in the Valley have been in June, including 120 on June 25, 1990; 119 on June 20, 2017; 119 on June 29, 2013; and that 122-degree day 32 years ago on June 26.

With the first 110-degree days of the year already in the books, Chandler and Tempe recommend that residents stay inside, stay cool and be prepared for the coming blast-furnace summer temperatures.

Our Arizona summer desert heat is no joke. Each year, nearly 3,000 people visit the state’s emergency rooms because of heat-related illnesses and some of those result in death.

The cities is taking several steps to combat the heat.

Chandler is partnering with Maricopa Association of Governments’ Heat Relief Network to offer cooling stations for vulnerable Chandler residents in need of a safe place to escape the heat.

The following locations in are open through Friday, Sept. 30:

  • Chandler Neighborhood Resources Department, 235 S. Arizona Ave., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
  • Basha Library, 5990 S. Val Vista Drive, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.
  • Downtown Library, 22 S. Delaware St., 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 1-5 p.m. Sunday.
  • Hamilton Library, 3700 S. Arizona Ave., 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 1-5 p.m. Saturday.
  • Sunset Library, 4930 W. Ray Road, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 1-5 p.m. Sunday.
  • Chandler Community Center, 125 E. Commonwealth Ave., 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
  • Tumbleweed Recreation Center, 745 E. Germann Road, 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday; 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 6:30 Sunday. Holiday hours: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Chandler Nature Center at Veterans Oasis Park, 4050 E. Chandler Heights Road, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
  • AZCEND, 345 S. California St., 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday-Friday; 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.
  • The Salvation Army – Chandler Corps, 85 E. Saragosa St., 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

All sites except for the Tumbleweed Recreation Center will be closed on holidays. The only holiday the Tumbleweed Recreation Center will not be open is Monday on the Fourth of July.

In addition, the public may donate bottled water and drop them off at all listed sites except for Tumbleweed Recreation Center and the Chandler Nature Center.

For tips and additional resources to avoid heat-related illness, or to view a complete list of cooling centers, hydration stations and donation/collection sites throughout the Valley, click here.

More information on Chandler’s heat-relief efforts: Sara Mercado at 480-782-4364 or sara.mercado@chandleraz.gov.

Tempe has similar programs and precautions in place.

Heat-relief sites have opened citywide and Tempe’s mobile cooling trailer has hit the road to expand services for those experiencing homelessness. Tempe also kicked off its bottled-water drive, offering donors pool passes. More information on resources, safety tips and donating water: tempe.gov/HeatRelief.

Tempe provides six heat-relief locations daily. Everyone is welcome. It’s also possible to cool off in building lobbies and to hydrate using drinking fountains.

Salvation Army and University Presbyterian Church offer heat relief on excessive-heat-warning days when temperatures are 110 degrees or higher. Pets are welcome at these sites.

Pets can get heat relief around Tempe, too.

Jenny’s Trailer, the city’s mobile cooling center, is back out in the community to provide respite and resources to those in need. The solarized 20-foot travel trailer is a collaboration among the city, humanitarian funder Jenny Norton and Arizona State University’s Engineering Projects in Community Service students, who converted the trailer into the mobile cooling center. Staffed by Tempe HOPE homeless outreach specialists, the trailer provides a place to cool off, hydrate and connect to shelter and social services.

Those experiencing homelessness may receive heat-relief packs containing water bottles, towels, socks and pet bowls through a partnership between Tempe and McClintock High students who participate in the Neighborhood Justice Program. The student-led team will provide 600 packs to be used during the city’s Point-in-Time homeless count in July and at city heat-relief locations throughout the summer. More information: tempe.gov/government/human-services/housing-services/ending-homelessness/heat-relief.

Water bottle donations are under way.

Tempe offers bottled water at city facilities and to those served by HOPE homeless outreach and CARE 7 crisis-response throughout the summer. Those who donate a case of water (minimum 24 bottles) will receive a pass to a city pool. Donations are accepted at Kiwanis, North Tempe and Escalante centers.

Resources are available for those who need help paying utility bills or making emergency home repairs that threaten health and safety.

The Tempe Emergency Home Repair Program is open to eligible low-income homeowners to eliminate immediate threats to their health and safety. The city is giving preference to applicants in need of air conditioning. All other applicants will be placed on the program’s wait list. As much as $15,000 is available in grant assistance and there is no obligation to repay the funds. Homeowners cannot have received assistance in the previous three years. More information: tempe.gov/government/human-services/housing-services.

Maricopa County offers emergency home repair to income-qualified residents. More information: maricopa.gov/5214/Apply-for-Home-Improvement-Programs.

The Homeowner Assistance Fund is a federally-funded, foreclosure-prevention program for all income-qualified Arizonans. The fund assists those impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic and covers expenses, such as mortgage payments and utility bills. More information: haf.azhousing.gov.

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STAY SAFE IN THE HEAT

Ways to keep yourself, family and pets safe in the Arizona desert summer heat: 

  • Drink plenty of water, even if you’re not thirsty.
  • Take breaks in the shade or in air conditioning.
  • Plan outdoor activities in the early morning or late evening to avoid the heat.
  • Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.
  • Keep your head covered and reapply sunblock every two hours.
  • Check on at-risk friends, family and neighbors daily.
  • Check your local news for excessive heat warnings.
  • Never leave children or pets in the car.
  • Assistance is available with home repairs, utility bills.
Lee Shappell
Lee Shappell
Lee Shappell became a journalist because he didn’t become a rocket scientist! He exhausted the math courses available by his junior year in high school and earned early admission to Rice University, intending to take advantage of its relationship with the Johnson Space Center and become an aerospace engineer. But as a high school senior, needing a class to be eligible for sports with no more math available, he took student newspaper as a credit and was hooked. He studied journalism at the UofA and has been senior reporter, copy desk chief and managing editor at several Valley publications.

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