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Cooling Centers designated to help public beat the heat

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With heat warnings issued across the region, AAA Western and Central New York is reminding motorists to be aware of the dangers of hot cars. On average, AAA said 37 children die in hot cars every year. Temperatures inside of a car, even on a moderately sunny day, can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. When it comes to pets and heat, AAA said it is best to leave them at home.

"Dogs can’t sweat like humans, causing them to overheat much faster," said AAA's Elizabeth Carey. Rolling down the window does very little to keep them comfortable."

Carey said cars need fluids during extreme heat, too. Drivers should check all vehicle fluids, including motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid, to ensure they are filled to the appropriate levels.

The National Weather Service has issued a heat warning for Niagara and Orleans counties and a heat advisory for the rest of Western New York from noon Friday through 6 p.m. Saturday. The NWS said heat index values are expected to be 100-103 degrees and prolonged exposure or strenuous activity may lead to heat-related illnesses that require immediate medical attention.

Children are particularly at risk of suffering from heatstroke during periods of excessive heat, since their bodies heat up five times faster than adults.

Dr. Joseph Bart, medical director for the Buffalo Fire Department, is stressing the importance of remaining hydrated. He recommends water, suggesting sports drinks do not necessarily provide the replenishment that will be needed in this heat.

"One of the things that becomes a problem, certainly within the Buffalo Fire Department but for everybody with a high heat index, is that we anticipate when you sweat, we're going to evaporate that. Once we approach the mid 90s, where it gets into dangerous conditions, it becomes a bit problematic for your body to actually have heat losses, as evaporative cooling becomes less effective as the high heat index gets into the 90s or so," Bart said.

Buffalo is scheduled to host several events during the weekend, including its annual Italian Festival which this year is being staged downtown in Niagara Square. While options such as misting fans may be available to the large festival crowd, Dr. Bart warned they may not be as effective as one may think.

"With evaporation not being possible, adding misting fans at 95 degrees with humidity actually makes the problem worse," he said. "If you're already wet and you're sweating, and we just blow more moisture on you but it can't evaporate, we're not actually fixing the problem."

Due to the weather forecast of unusually high temperatures this weekend, air-conditioned cooling centers have been designated for the public to escape the heat.

AMHERST:

Northtown Center
1615 Amherst Manor Dr.
Fri-Sun 7 a.m.-1 a.m.

Clearfield Recreation Center
730 Hopkins Rd.
Fri. 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sat. noon-5 p.m.

Center for Senior Services
370 John James Audubon Pkwy.
Fri 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Additional locations may open over the weekend. Follow Amherst on Facebook for updates.

BUFFALO:

Autumnwood Senior Center
1800 Clinton St.
Fri 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Belle Center
104 Maryland St.
Fri 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Delavan-Grider Community Center
977 E. Delavan Ave.
Fri 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Dorothy J. Collier Community Center
118 E. Utica St.
Fri 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Edward Saunders Community Center
2777 Bailey Ave.
Fri 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

George K. Arthur Community Center
2056 Genesee St.
Fri 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Gloria J. Parks Community Center
3242 Main St.
Fri 8 a.m.-9 p.m.

Hennepin Community Center
24 Ludington St.
Fri 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Hispanic United of Buffalo
254 Virginia St.
Fri 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Northwest Buffalo Community Center
155 Lawn Ave.
Fri 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Richmond-Summer Senior Center
337 Summer Street
Fri 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Schiller Park Senior Center
2057 Genesee St.
Fri 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

William-Emslie YMCA Senior Center
585 William St.
Fri 6 a.m.-9 p.m.
The list of participating cooling centers will be updated this weekend.

NIAGARA FALLS:

The following city pools will hold extended hours Friday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.:
? Center Court
? D’Amelio Park
? 91st Street
? Hyde Park Splash Pad

The city will also hold pool hours at the following locations Saturday:
? Center Court 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
? 91st Street 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

John Duke Senior Center
1201 Hyde Park Blvd.
Fri 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY:

Ahira Hall Memorial Library
37 W Main St., Brocton
M & W: 1 p.m.-8 p.m., Tu & Thu: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., F: 1 p.m.-5 p.m., Sat: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Anderson-Lee Library
43 Main St., Silver Creek
M & Tu: 12 p.m.-8 p.m., W: Closed, Thu: 10 a.m.-8p.m., F: 12 p.m.-5 p.m., Sat: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Ashville Free Library
2200 N Maple Ave., Ashville
M-F: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Sat: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc.
10825 Bennett Rd., Dunkirk
M-F: 8:30A-4:30 p.m.

Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc.
402 Chandler St., Jamestown
M-F: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Darwin R. Barker Library Assoc.
7 Day St., Fredonia
M-Th: 10 a.m.-8 p.m., F & Sa: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Chautauqua County Health and Human Services
319 Central Ave., Dunkirk
M-F: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Chautauqua County Health and Human Services
110 East 4th St., Jamestown
M-F: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Chautauqua County Health and Human Services
7 N. Erie St., Mayville
M-F: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Dunkirk Public Library
536 Central Ave., Dunkirk
M-Th: 10 a.m.-8 p.m., F & Sat: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Ellington-Farman Free Library
760 Thornton Rd., Ellington
M-Th: 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Fluvanna Free Library
3532 Fluvanna Ave., Jamestown
M-F: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Hazeltine Public Library
891 Busti-Sugar Grove Rd., Jamestown
M, W, F: 1 p.m.-5 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Tu & Th: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

James Prendergast Library Assoc.
509 Cherry St., Jamestown
M-Th: 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m., F: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Patterson Library
40 South Portage St., Westfield
M, W, F, Sat: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tu & Thu: 9 a.m.-8 p.m.

Sinclairville Free Library
15 Main St, Sinclairville
M & Th: 2 p.m.-7 p.m., W: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., F: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.