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Merced opens cooling center to handle heat

The City of Merced is opening its cooling center Tuesday through Thursday because of the expected high temperatures in the San Joaquin Valley.

The cooling center will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Sam Pipes Room of the Merced Civic Center, 678 W. 18th St.

The center will be staffed by the parks and community services department.

The center also will be open Wednesday and Thursday for the same hours, as temperatures are forecast to exceed 100 degrees.

Prior to the opening of the city cooling center, people can seek shelter in the Merced County Library, 2100 O St.

During the hot weather everyone should drink plenty of fluids, avoid caffeine and alcohol, dress in cool clothes, wear a hat and stay out of the sun whenever possible.

The city is also asking residents to check on neighbors who may be susceptible to excessive heat, such as the elderly, ill or families with young children.