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Polk County Health Department opens overnight cooling shelter


Des Moines, IA) – Today, July 21, 2017, is the third oppressively hot day in a row with very little overnight cooling for the past two nights. The National Weather Service as issued an Excessive Heat Warning in effect until Saturday at 8:00 p.m. To give residents of Polk County an additional option to reduce their risk for serious heat-related health issues, the Polk County Health Department is opening an overnight cooling shelter Friday night (today) at 8:00 p.m.
Overnight: An overnight shelter will be open tonight Friday, July 21 from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church at 4300 Beaver Ave. Guests should arrive before 11:00 p.m. Doors lock at 11:00 p.m. and cots, blankets, pillows, water and snacks will be provided.
DART is offering free rides to the overnight shelter, which is along Route 14. The offer is good on all local routes from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. To ride for free, passengers need only tell the bus operator that they are going to the overnight cooling shelter. Those who stay overnight at the shelter can get a free return trip in the morning by catching the bus at the nearest stop to the shelter, at the intersection of Aurora Avenue and 46th Street.
If you are visiting the overnight shelter and are concerned about the health and well-being of a pet, please call 2-1-1. 2-1-1 will arrange for the Animal Rescue League of Iowa to shelter your pet while you stay at the overnight cooling shelter
Schedule information is available online at or by calling the Customer Service Line at 515-283-8100 until 7 p.m. For calls after 7:00 p.m., please call 515-283-8108.  Paratransit-approved riders can also use DART’s paratransit services to reach the cooling centers.
Two hours in air conditioning can significantly reduce the risk of health problems such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Many public places such as malls, libraries and other public businesses, are air conditioned and are open to the public as daytime cooling centers. Call 211 or visit the Polk County Health Department’s web site at for exact hours and locations throughout the weekend. Outdoor weekend activities should be postponed to a cooler day or rescheduled around the evening hours, so individuals are out of the sun during the hottest part of the day. 

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