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Cooling stations open in LV Valley

As temperatures continued to soar in the Las Vegas Valley, officials on Thursday opened five “cooling stations” to shelter homeless people from scorching daytime heat that can quickly turn deadly.

The cooling stations, located in recreation centers and a gymnasium, provide the homeless with water and a temporary escape from the heat during the warmest part of the day. People can dial 211 from a pay phone to find the nearest station.

Scheduled to be open through Saturday, the stations are part of an inclement weather shelter program through the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition’s Committee on Homelessness.

Excessive heat contributes to the deaths of homeless people in Southern Nevada each year.

The Clark County coroner’s office on Thursday confirmed one such death so far in 2009. A 46-year-old man was found dead July 3 in a desert area behind a business. Environmental heat stress contributed to the man’s death, the coroner’s office said.

In addition to the temporary cooling stations, people can take refuge in three daytime summer shelters that have been opened since April in the downtown homeless corridor.

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for today and Saturday in the Las Vegas Valley, where temperatures are expected to reach at least 112 degrees each day before falling a few degrees on Sunday. The warning is in effect from noon today through 8 p.m. Saturday. The warning urges people to drink plenty of water, stay out of the sun and check on relatives and neighbors.

“Cooling stations” will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and varying hours on Saturday at the following locations:

• Cambridge Recreation Center, 3930 Cambridge St.

• Dula Gymnasium, 441 E. Bonanza Road.

• Hollywood Recreation Center, 1650 S. Hollywood Blvd.

• Walnut Recreation Center, 3075 N. Walnut Road.

• Valley View Recreation Center, 500 Harris St., Henderson

Daytime summer shelters also are open each day at the following locations in the downtown homeless corridor:

• Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, 1501 Las Vegas Blvd., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Salvation Army, 33 W. Owens Ave., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• The Shade Tree, 1 W. Owens Ave., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Contact reporter Lynnette Curtis at lcurtis@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0285.

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