If weather forecasts hold true, we’re looking at a sticky, sweltering end of the week, with temperatures reaching 96 degrees.
We already felt the heat Tuesday as the Stark County Chapter of the American Red Cross set up a reception cooling center in in North Canton. The reasons were twofold: Temperatures put many people in danger. And the Monday night storms and flooding caused many to lose power.
North Canton Patch stopped by to talk to Red Cross volunteers and workers Tuesday.
“If somebody has nowhere to go and it’s not safe in their home, especially if their power is out, and it’s just too hot, this is a safe place to go to because it’s cool and we have food and water,” said Tom Mehaffie, Disaster Action Team captain and shelter manager, at about 5 p.m. that day.
“We had people stop, but they’re going back to their families and deciding what they’re going to do. We’re here if they need us.”
By about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, they still weren’t sure if they’d have to keep the center open and operate it as a shelter. They said they’d close the center by 7:30 if no one was there in need of help.
About 10 volunteers manned the North Canton location, offering people snacks, bottled water and a place to keep cool, while two to three people ran the Red Cross office.
Becky Bernhard, public relations and communications director, said it’s the third time this year the Stark County Chapter of the American Red Cross has opened a shelter or help center because of bad weather.
She said they chose the John Knox Presbyterian Church — near and — because of its central location, being near North Canton, Canton and surrounding townships.
Red Cross officials advised county residents to be mindful of how much food they have in their homes, especially during adverse weather.
“Our standard message is: Have a three days’ supply of stuff,’” Mehaffie said.
The Stark County Chapter of the American Red Cross can be reached at 330-453-0146.
They had not known Tuesday whether they would open a reception cooling center today.
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