UPDATE: The Polk County Public Health Department is opening an overnight cooling center Friday night, July 22, to give residents relief from the excessive heat. The shelter will be at Zion Lutheran Church at 4300 Beaver Avenue. DART will be providing free rides to this shelter, which is located along Route 14. Those wishing to stay at this shelter can board any DART bus and inform the driver that they are traveling to the overnight cooling shelter. Those who are at the shelter can get a free ride home to the place where they were picked up by boarding Route 14 at the stop at the intersection of Aurora Avenue and 46th Street, near the shelter. Polk County Public Health officials will be locking the doors to the shelter at 11 p.m. Friday night. Please note that the last Route 14 bus that will transport to the shelter before the 11 p.m. deadline leaves DART Centeral Station at 9:45 p.m. Cots, blanks, pillows and water will be provided at the shelter. More information on the overnight cooling center can be found here.
DART is providing free rides to the public to cooling centers in Polk County from Wednesday, July 20 through Saturday, July 23 due to the extreme heat. Riders should tell bus drivers when they board that they want to go to the cooling center. The driver will then transport riders to the nearest center. A list of cooling centers and the DART routes that service them are available here. Paratransit-approved riders can also use DART's Paratransit services to reach the cooling centers.
Riders are asked to consult schedules on ridedart.com to locate the next bus nearest them. They can also contact Customer Service with questions about this service. The number to contact is (515) 283-8100. For calls after 7p.m., riders are asked to contact (515) 283-8108.
The National Weather Service has issued an Extreme Heat Warning beginning at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20 through 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 23. Anyone is at risk for heat related illnesses, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. This is especially true for young children, older adults, individuals with chronic health conditions and anyone spending significant time outdoors.
With many outdoor events going on this week, individuals need take the following precautions to avoid heat related illnesses:
- Be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
- Drink plenty of water. DO NOT wait until you are thirsty to drink. Avoid drinking alcoholic and caffeinated beverages as they dehydrate you.
- Take frequent breaks in the shade or indoors. Spend at least two hours in air conditioning each day.
- Try to avoid being outdoors in the hottest portion of the day: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.