The city pool, the frozen-food section of a grocery store, a shade tree and a “beer cave” might seem unrelated, but Lawrence residents are seeking refuge in those places as they try to escape the sticky summer heat.
With the “feels like” temperature soaring to 105 degrees and above, it’s necessary to find somewhere to chill.
The national weather service has issued a Excessive Heat Warning for virtually all of eastern Kansas and western Missouri, which is in effect until Thursday at 7 p.m. Temperatures Wednesday will continue to be steamy, with highs in the upper 90's.
For some people, escaping the blistering sun is not as simple as walking into your air-conditioned home.
“I just try to stay in the shade and deal with it,” said Steve Wade, a homeless Missouri native.
Pool enthusiast Sandy Bogner welcomes the sunshine and dives into cool water to keep from overheating.
“We stay where it’s cool like the pool. … I bring my grandchildren here at least three times a week in the summertime,” said Bogner about the Lawrence Outdoor Aquatic Center, 727 Ky.
Resting beneath a shade tree or diving into refreshing water are some obvious solutions, but other people get a little more creative in battling the heat.
“We just come hang out, and it feels so good when you’re in here,” Jesus Castillo said about the “beer cave” at Myers Retail Liquor on 23rd Street.
He works next door at the Jiffy Lube and said the managers at Myers have no qualms about letting him pop into the walk-in freezer on hot, sultry days.
“But then as soon as you get out, it feels just as hot,” he said about the fleeting relief of the cave.
Though not quite as chilly as the beer cave, grocery stores’ frozen-food aisles also have a certain magnetic quality in summer.
“I may stay here for a while,” shopper Gary Worley said.
Some ways to minimize the discomfort
The Lawrence Senior Center, 745 Vt., has fans to give away to seniors.
But on Tuesday, The Salvation Army gave away the last of nearly 70 fans collected as part of a joint effort with Channel 6News and Westlake Ace Hardware.
Donations of new or slightly used fans can be made at Salvation Army, 946 N.H. The agency also is accepting monetary donations to help pay some Lawrence residents’ summer utility bills.
If you need a place to get cool, these sites in Lawrence are available:
• Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt., 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
• Lawrence Community Building, 115 W. 11th St., 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
• Salvation Army, during lunch from 12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Monday through Friday; and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., every day.
• Lawrence Senior Center, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
• Lawrence Memorial Hospital, 325 Maine.
• Lawrence-Douglas County Community Health Building, 200 Maine, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.