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UPDATE: Cooling centres to open in Cowichan during heatwave

Drink plenty of water and check on seniors as temperatures surge this week

Most of Vancouver Island saw a surge in temperatures beginning Tuesday, Aug. 10, which was expected to last until the weekend, and several cooling centres will be open throughout the Cowichan Valley.

Environment Canada issued the warning at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, with temperatures expected to reach 29 to 35 C during the day. Overnight lows around 16 C will provide little relief.

According to Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist, the heat wave will hit eastern and central Vancouver Island from Victoria to Campbell River, and possibly even Port Alberni.

“It will be similar to the last [heat wave] we had in July, but not like the June heat, not even close,” he said. “This is our third one this year.”

The heat wave in late June hit record temperatures throughout British Columbia, including a previously unseen high of 41.9 C in Duncan and an unofficial record of 43 C in Lake Cowichan.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were expected to be the hottest days, and Thursday and Friday the hottest nights.

Environment Canada says to drink plenty of water, even before you feel thirsty, and stay in a cool place. Check on older family, friends and neighbours, and make sure they are cool and drinking water. Never leave people or pets inside a parked vehicle.

A number of cooling centres will be open throughout the Cowichan Valley to help residents escape the heat.

Locations will include:

• Kerry Park Recreation Centre, 1035 Shawnigan-Mill Bay Rd., Mill Bay, Wednesday, Aug. 11 to Saturday, Aug. 14, noon-7 p.m.

• Cowichan Community Centre, 2687 James St., Duncan, Thursday, Aug. 12 to Saturday, Aug. 14, noon-7 p.m.

• Lake Cowichan Centennial Hall, 309 South Shore Rd., Lake Cowichan, Wednesday, Aug. 11 to Saturday, Aug. 14, noon-7 p.m.

• Frank Jameson Community Centre, 810 6th Ave., Ladysmith, Wednesday, Aug. 11 to Friday, Aug. 13, noon-7 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 14, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

• Fuller Lake Arena, 2876 Fuller Lake Rd., Chemainus, Thursday, Aug. 12 to Friday, Aug. 13, noon-7 p.m.

• Si’em Lelum Gymnasium, 5574 River Rd., Duncan, Thursday, Aug. 12 to Friday, Aug. 13, noon-8 p.m.

Each facility will provide a cool space to give residents respite from external temperatures, with cold water provided. The cooling centres are operating with the assistance and support of Emergency Management BC.

Additionally, CVRD solid waste and recycling centres may close early beginning Wednesday. Residents are encouraged to call the CVRD Recycling Hotline at 250-746-2540 prior to visiting the Bings Creek, Meade Creek or Peerless Road facilities over the next four days.

For more information about heat-related illness, check HealthLinkBC at www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/heat-related-illness, or call 8-1-1.

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