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City of Richmond opening two cooling centres during the heatwave

Cambie and South Arm community centres are being set up to welcome residents some respite from this week's heat
Cambie COmmunity Centre is one of two city facilities being set up aas cooling centres for this week's heatwave

In response to the heatwave hitting Richmond and the rest of the Lower Mainland over the next few days, the city is opening a couple of cooling centres.

The city decided late on Wednesday to offer both Cambie and South Arm community centres to residents from Thursday, July 29 to Saturday, July 31.

For those that want to drop into the air-conditioned centres, seating will be available, the city told the Richmond News on Thursday morning.

It has been 44 days and counting since the last drop of rain was recorded at Environment Canada’s weather station at YVR.

The record for no measurable rain at the airport is 58 days, set in 1951, while the current heatwave surpassed the 1950 mark of 42 days, to become the fourth-longest since records began for the region.

Tinder-dry, drought-like conditions across Richmond has led to many parks and trails closed due to an extreme risk of fire, as well as a ban on barbecues and stoves and restrictions on the use of propane.

Heat warnings have been issued by Environment Canada and the B.C. government with temperatures expected to peak today (Thursday) and Friday in the low to mid-30s away from the water.

It won’t be anything like the record-breaking heat at the end of June, when the mercury rose past the 40-mark, but it’s still expected to cause issues and will be even intense is Lower Mainland cities further from the ocean.

There is some rain forecast for next Wednesday, Aug. 4, which would be a welcome relief for what would be 49 days without precipitation by then.

The City of Richmond is also suggesting people go to its air-conditioned community centres, libraries and the Richmond Cultural Centre.

In addition, four outdoor tents have been set-up at Paulik, Steveston, Dover and McLean parks and misting devices have been installed at Britannia Shipyards, Minoru Centre for Active Living, West Richmond, South Arm, Garden City and Thompson parks.⁠

Residents are being advised to log onto for more ideas on how to stay cool during the latest heatwave.

The extreme heat is predicted to last until at least Saturday, July 31.