As temps rise, several cooling stations open in Dallas

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The city of Dallas will activate its Level 2 extended heat plan Thursday afternoon.

The spring heat wave has not scared the agency that runs the Texas power grid, either. ERCOT says it's prepared for the weekend's triple-digit heat.

With temperatures reaching 100 degrees or more in the coming days, the city is making some resources such as bottled water available at rec centers.

“We’re asking people to stay away from the heat if they don’t have to be out there. And if they have to be out there and need some relief, we have several city facilities that are open varying hours,” said Rocky Vaz, director of the Dallas Office of Emergency Management. “We have a couple multipurpose centers, all our libraries throughout our system, all our parks and rec facilities.”

Facilities with designated “Beat the Heat” centers include the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, the West Dallas Multipurpose Center or the Reverchon Park Recreation Center.

The Salvation Army donated water to be distributed at those centers. It has also opened cooling stations at 13 of its centers in North Texas for anyone who needs a break from the heat.

The cooling stations provide two necessary things for those at risk of heat explosion – hydration and a cool environment. Cold water will be available throughout the summer.

Aside from the three primary cooling centers, city officials say any parking and rec center or library is also available for temporary heat relief during their normal business hours.

While it's important to keep yourself hydrated, city officials are urging people to check on their elderly friends and neighbors.

The shelter is open later than the others.  It opens at 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. The director of the office of emergency management says this is the first time in a very long time he can remember an alert being issued in the month of May.

The Level 2 Heat Alert will continue through Saturday.

ERCOT Spokesperson Leslie Sopko says the level of demand is high for the month of May.

“We are seeing extremely high demand on the system. Consumers are using a lot of electricity due to the extreme heat,” she said. “They’re turning their air conditioners on to try and stay cool. And that’s creating more demand on the electric system.”

Sopko says, at this point, ERCOT is not asking the public to conserve electricity. They expect to have sufficient capacity to meet the demand for now.

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