'Don't Sweat It' Doesn't Come Easy in This Heat; Cooling Centers Are Set Up in District

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Byline: Elizabeth Sallie, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Wednesday's temperatures, topping 98 degrees with a heat index above 100, did not seem to keep Washingtonians from their normally planned activities - or induce them to pack pools, movie theaters or ice cream shops.

This week has been one of the season's hottest, and the torrid temperatures will continue Thursday with a high of 100 degrees forecast, according to the National Weather Service.

Government officials issued typical precautions on Wednesday warning the public to stay indoors and to use the cooling centers that were opened throughout the District in response to the Weather Service heat advisory effective until 10 p.m. Thursday. No heat-related emergencies had been reported by the end of the business day Wednesday, according to Robyn Johnson, a public information officer with the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.

Public buildings like libraries, recreation centers and pools were made available as cool refuges.

People are welcome to go to government facilities, take a break from the heat, get some water and go about their day, Ms. Johnson said.

Other officials in the District took action as well: Metro will permit riders to drink water onboard through Thursday, the Department of Public Works is collecting trash an hour earlier the rest of the week and the Department of Parks and Recreation has extended the hours for 14 public pools through Friday.

The worst of the heat wave will be Thursday, which is positioned to challenge the current three-time record of 98 degrees, Weather Service meteorologist Heather Sheffield said. …