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High Heat Alert
Photo by Suzanne Guldimann

High Heat Alert 

Edit 9/5/2020   Topanga Library has extended their cooling center through Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Hours of Operation: 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 122 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, CA 90290
The cooling center will take place in the meeting room; unfortunately we cannot issue WiFi access cards on Saturday or Sunday so participants will have to have already had a library card. We also do not have access to any reading materials but you may bring you own.

Get ready to roast! Almost the entire Western US will be hit with an extreme heat wave over the Labor Day weekend. 

Record-setting temperatures are expected in the Santa Monica Mountains on Sunday. The temperature in Topanga could potentially hit 115 degrees. The Valley side of the range could reach a sizzling 117, according to the National Weather Service forecast.

Triple-digit heat is expected to linger all week, although temperatures will drop slightly to 106 in Topanga on Labor Day Monday, and to 101 by Thursday. Even the beaches are expected to heat up into the 90s over the weekend.

The heat wave brings a serious risk of potentially deadly heat related illnesses. Topanga residents are urged to check regularly on elderly or home-bound relatives and friends. Humans aren’t the only ones at risk: pets should be brought inside and livestock given access to shade and water.

Malibu Search and Rescue is already experiencing high numbers of heat related rescues in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and is cautioning everyone to be aware of the symptoms of heat illness. 

Heat Illness Symptoms

They recommend planning to do unavoidable hot weather outdoor activities early in the morning, and leaving dogs in a cool place at home during the heat wave. It’s important to remember that superheated pavement can burn a dog’s feet and it can remain uncomfortably hot for hours.

This is not the time for non-essential outdoor activities or projects, and travel this weekend may be difficult. Expect beach traffic gridlock on the canyon roads, the 101, and Pacific Coast Highway. 

A statewide energy “Flex-Alert” means rolling blackouts may accompany the heatwave.  SCE customers are being asked to avoid using major appliances during the day, unplug electronics when not in use, and set thermostats to 78 or higher, health permitting. 

Keeping shades and curtains closed can help rooms stay a little cooler. Opening windows at night and keeping them closed during the hottest part of the day may also help.

The county has opened a cooling center in the Topanga Library’s meeting room, 122 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Friday, September 4 through Sunday, September 6, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., where residents who don’t have air conditioning can come in, cool down, and escape the heat. Face coverings and social distancing are required.

COVID-19 remains a major concern, and safety precautions are still essential.

Stay safe, keep cool!

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