Fayetteville is in the midst of a heat wave — one that can be dangerous for residents who do not have access to air conditioning.
In response to the high temperatures this week, Cumberland County has opened select buildings as cooling stations for those who don’t have air conditioning.
In addition to those facilities offering respite from the heat, the 18 Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks & Recreation Centers – which are open to the public year-round during normal operating hours – can be used by residents who need a break from the heat.
The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory Monday from noon to 8 p.m. with heat index values from 105 to 109 degrees and an excessive heat watch from Tuesday afternoon through Tuesday evening with heat index values of 112 degrees.
Fayetteville could possibly eclipse the record for June 14, which was 100 degrees set in 1940, said Kathleen Carroll, a meteorologist with the Raleigh office of the National Weather Service.
“It will be hotter tomorrow than today,” Carroll said Monday. “We’re expecting highs approaching 104. If you factor in humidity, it will feel like 110 degrees. It will be extremely oppressive tomorrow.”
Temperatures will remain in the upper 90s for the remainder of the week, according to the National Weather Service.
“Looks like a reprieve over the weekend,” she said. “It’s going to be hotter through the rest of the work week.”
These high temperatures, Carroll said, are 15 to 17 degrees above normal for this time of year.
The county buildings identified as cooling stations include:
In addition, all eight Cumberland County public libraries are open as cooling stations.
Libraries are open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Headquarters Library at 300 Maiden Lane is also open Sundays from 2 to 6 p.m.
Extreme heat and humidity significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, the county said, particularly for those whose work involves outdoor activities.
“(Residents) are going to need to know not to spend extended time outside,” Carroll said. “They should take breaks, stay in air conditioning, stay well hydrated, they should not be leaving pets outside, and they should know what the signs and symptoms are of heat-related illnesses.”
Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at email@example.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.