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Cooling centers to open today in Merced, Atwater

With triple-digit temperatures persisting in the area, cooling centers have been set up in Merced and Atwater.

The city of Merced will operate cooling centers today and Friday. Everyone who needs a cool, comfortable, air-conditioned place to stay is encouraged to come to the center, city spokesman Mike Conway said.

The main hall of the Merced Senior Community Center, 755 W. 15th St., will be open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. today. The Sam Pipes Room of the Merced Civic Center, 678 W. 18th St., also will be open the same hours on Friday.

The city of Merced Parks and Community Services staff will operate the cooling center. For information, call 209-385-6855.

No heat stress calls were received Wednesday by Merced and Atwater firefighters.

Atwater Fire Chief Ed Banks said Atwater's cooling center will operate between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. today at the Atwater Community Center, 760 E. Bellevue Road. Banks said the center will be available to the public for rehabilitation of heat-related concerns.

Residents are asked to bring their up-to-date medications with them to the cooling center. Ice water and drink aids will be on the site and Atwater Fire Department staff will be available to assist the public, Banks said.

Atwater's center possibly may be open again Friday, Banks said.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at 209-385-2485 or