Temperatures through the B.C. Day long weekend are expected to reach an average of five degrees above the seasonal norm.
The Tri-Cities are set to open civic facilities as cooling centres as early as today (July 29) for residents seeking refuge from the expected hot weather or who may not have access to air conditioning.
As of 9 a.m. this morning, Port Coquitlam opened the doors of the Terry Fox Library within its downtown community centre, and while it's set to stay available for the public for a certain length of time, the city says there's a possibility hours could be extended "if temperatures remain high."
Currently, the Terry Fox Library is open until 6 p.m. today. On Friday (July 30) and Saturday (July 31), the hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Environment Canada issued a heat warning on Tuesday (July 27) and has been in effect since.
The national agency is predicting the mercury to reach the low-to-mid 30s with humidity at day's peak for inland Metro Vancouver communities such as Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra.
This is set to be combined with overnight lows in the upper teens as a "building ridge of high pressure" is making its way through the region.
Additionally, in Port Coquitlam, bylaw officers and city staff are set to provide water to vulnerable peoples while also connecting them with the right services.
Coquitlam opened a pair of cooling centres today in response to the heat warning.
The Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. today and Saturday, as well as 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday.
The Glen Pine Pavilion is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Free parking is also available at both facilities and pets are welcome.
As well, hours at Coquitlam's nine spray parks are extended until 9:30 p.m. through 'til Sunday (Aug. 1):
- Blue Mountain Spray Park (975 King Albert Ave.)
- Burns Park Spray Park (802 Edgar Ave.)
- Cottonwood Spray Park (672 Aspen St.)
- Galloway Spray Park (3404 Galloway Ave.)
- Mackin Spray Park (1046 Brunette Ave.)
- Norm Staff Spray Park (3320 David Ave.)
- Panorama Spray Park (1485 Johnson St.)
- Rochester Spray Park (1390 Rochester Ave.)
- Town Centre Spray Park (1299 Pinetree Way)
In Port Moody, its two cooling centres will be set up in city hall's galleria (100 Newport Dr.) and the neighbouring recreation centre, both from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Saturday.
As well, misting tents and temporary watering stations will be set up in several city parks, including:
- Old Orchard Park (630 Alderside Rd.)
- Pioneer Memorial Park (275 Knowle St.)
- PoMo Rotary SK8 Park (2910 Murray St.)
- Westhill Park (203 Westhill Pl.)
Regardless, residents are being reminded to stay cool and hydrated this weekend and to take all steps necessary to avoid heat stroke.
If you see someone experience heat-related illnesses, you're urged to call 911 and while you're waiting, move them to a cool place if you can, apply cold water to large areas of their skin or clothing and fan the person as much as possible.
Symptoms can include heat exhaustion, heat fainting, heat edema (swelling of hands, feet and ankles), heat rash and muscle cramps, dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, headache, rapid breathing and heartbeat, extreme thirst, and decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine.
Tips to avoid heat-related illnesses include:
- Drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before feeling thirsty to avoid dehydration
- Slow down: Your body can't function as well in high temperatures
- Take a cool shower or bath
- Avoid sun exposure
- Cover your head and face with a wide-brimmed breathable hat or umbrella when outdoors
- Seek shade and use sunscreen that is SPF 15 or higher
- Dress in lightweight, light-coloured and loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabric
- NEVER leave people or pets in your care inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight
- Frequently check on family members, neighbours and friends who are elderly or chronically ill to make sure they are cool and hydrated
- Plan outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day, or try to find a cooler outdoor location (e.g.under tree cover)
- Visit a spray park or book a visit at an outdoor pool
- Follow any COVID-19 restrictions in place
- Prepare meals that don’t need to be cooked in the oven
- Block out sun by opening awnings, and closing curtains or blinds during the day