Area facilities are opening their doors as cooling centers for those in need after the Audrain County Emergency Notification System sent out a heat wave warning early Wednesday.
The heat wave is expected to last through at least Saturday with temperatures in the high 90s and heat indices reaching upward of 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Highest temperatures will occur from the late morning to the early evening.
The Mexico Area YMCA will be available as a cooling center. It is open today and Thursday from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
While The Help Center is not an official cooling center, it still will be available for use as one during its open hours, Director Philip Iman said. The food distribution waiting room has seating and a water fountain, he said. The center will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.
Mexico-Audrain Library District locations also will operate as cooling centers during open hours. In Mexico, the library is open until 8 p.m. today, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The Farber branch is open until noon and from 1:30-5:30 p.m. today and 1:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday. It is closed Friday, but is open 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. The Vandalia library is open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Martinsburg is open 1-5 p.m. today and Thursday and from 9 a.m. to noon Friday and Saturday. The Laddonia branch 1-5 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday. It is closed Friday, but is open 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Audrain County Health Department will be open as a cooling center 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today through Friday. Mexico Senior Center also will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today through Friday.
A call to the Audrain County Emergency Management office was not returned by mid-morning Wednesday.
The emergency notification system notice recommends individuals drink plenty of water and limit exposure to heat. It also recommends knowing the signs of heat stroke and exhaustion in youth and adult, as well as checking on neighbors, the elderly and those with disabilities since they are at risk of suffering heat-related illness.