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County activates cooling centers with Excessive Heat Warning in effect

The county has activated its libraries, human services offices and community and recreation centers as cooling centers (via Fairfax County)

It’s another stifling day in Fairfax County with no immediate relief in sight.

As of 11 a.m., temperatures at Fort Belvoir had reached 90 degrees, but thanks to 65% humidity, it likely feels closer to 103 degrees outside, according to the National Weather Service.

An Excessive Heat Warning will remain in place until 8 p.m. today — only for another alert to take effect from noon to 8 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday). The NWS warns that “dangerously hot conditions” can be expected on both days, with the heat index potentially climbing up to 111 degrees.

To help community members, particularly those who are unhoused, Fairfax County has activated its Heat Plan for both today and tomorrow, establishing public facilities like libraries and recreation and community centers as designated cooling centers.

“When Fairfax County’s heat plan is activated, cooling centers around the county will be available during normal operating hours for individuals needing relief from the heat,” the county said. “These cooling centers will also have supplies available including bottled water, sunscreen, insect repellant, and body wipes.”

The county is also distributing supplies through partners who work with unsheltered residents and at homeless shelters, drop-in centers and meal distribution sites.

In addition, overflow capacity is being allowed at the county’s three emergency shelters for adults: the Katherine Hanley Family Shelter in Fairfax (12970 Katherine Hanley Court), the Embry Rucker Community Shelter in Reston (11975 Bowman Towne Drive) and the Patrick Henry Family Shelter in Seven Corners (3080 Patrick Henry Drive).

Here’s more from the county on how to handle the high temperatures that have lingered since Thursday:

Extreme heat and humidity will significantly increase the potential for heat related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities.

Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.

  • Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside.
  • When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
  • Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when possible.
  • To reduce risk during outdoor work, schedule frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments.

Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency! Call 9- 1 -1.

If the air temperature hits 100 degrees, it would be the first time that the D.C. area has seen that level of heat since 2016, according to the Capital Weather Gang. Temperatures appeared to be slightly below the pace needed to hit that mark.

The combination of heat and humidity could lead to some storms later today and tomorrow night, the NWS forecast says. Fortunately, an approaching cold front could finally break the heat wave on Sunday (July 30).

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