While Orange County – along with the rest of California – is experiencing a record-breaking heat wave this week, residents in cities like Anaheim are using public libraries, parks and community centers to cool off. 

An excessive heat warning was put in place by the National Weather Service through this Friday, warning the public to take extra precautions in the heat. 

“Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities,” said the agency on their site. 

Cooling centers range from libraries to community centers and parks, according to The City of Anaheim’s website.

“The cooling centers are a place for people to come to if they have no air conditioning at home,” says Jan Branch, a receptionist at Anaheim Downtown Community Center, “There is seating available in our gallery and gymnasium for the community to use.”

While local data isn’t immediately available, nearly a quarter of California’s households don’t have air conditioning. 

Roughly 23% of households in the Golden State don’t have air conditioning, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Household Survey.

Two local women enter the Anaheim Downtown Community Center on Sept. 7, 2022 in hopes of finding a cool place to relax. Credit: AMIR GHANI, Voice of OC

Anaheim officials said cooling centers are essential during heatwaves and will continue to encourage residents to use the facilities. 

“Cooling centers have always been important for Anaheim, as we typically see hot summers. They will be important going forward with changes in climate and are part of our emergency planning, just like fires, earthquakes, wind and other events that can impact our city,” says Erin Ryan, a spokesperson for the City of Anaheim.

On Wednesday, residents were seen taking cover from the heat under trees, walking into community centers, or sitting by ponds in parks, in an effort to cool down during the triple-digit heat. 

Jonathan Bennett, an Anaheim Resident, wipes a cool towel on his face as he reads his eBook by the Pearson Pond on Sept. 7, 2022. Credit: AMIR GHANI, Voice of OC

“I like Pearson [Park] because there’s a lot of open space and it normally stays pretty quiet,” says Anaheim resident Jonathan Bennett, adding he likes to spend his afternoons reading eBooks and sitting by the Pearson Pond.

The Dream Court, donated by Nancy Lieberman Charities, sits empty under the beating sun in Anaheim, Calif. on Sept. 7, 2022. Credit: AMIR GHANI, Voice of OC

Robert Preston, another Anaheim resident, was at Pearson Park to find shade under the trees near the basketball court, “Normally I play pick-up ball with anyone who’s around, but it’s just too hot to play right now.”

Pearson Park on a hot Sept. 7, 2022. The large park features ponds, a basketball court and lots of shade – making it a haven for local residents looking to escape the sun. Credit: AMIR GHANI, Voice of OC
Two men sit next to the Pearson Pond in Anaheim, Calif. on Sept 7, 2022. Credit: AMIR GHANI, Voice of OC

Anaheim Cooling Centers: 

LIBRARIES 

Central Library 

500 W. Broadway

(714) 765-1880

Monday-Friday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Canyon Hills Branch Library

400 Scout Trail

(714) 765-6444

Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Fridays: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

East Anaheim Branch 

8201 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road

(714) 765-3887

Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Euclid Branch 

1340 S. Euclid St.

(714) 765-3625

Monday-Friday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Haskett Branch 

2650 W. Broadway

(714) 765-5075

Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Friday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ponderosa Joint-Use Branch

240 E. Orangewood Ave.

(714) 740-0202

Monday-Thursday: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunkist Branch

901 S. Sunkist

(714) 765-3576

Monday-Friday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

COMMUNITY CENTERS

Brookhurst Community Center 

2271 W. Crescent Ave.

(714) 765-3373

Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Open Monday, Sept. 5, noon to 7 p.m.

Downtown Anaheim Community Center

250 E. Center St.

(714) 765-4510

Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday-Sunday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Open Monday, Sept. 5, noon to 7 p.m.

East Anaheim Community Center

8201 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road

(714) 765-3904

Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Fridays: 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The following centers have limited parking and capacity, but are open during normal business hours

Miraloma Park Family Resource Center

2600 E. Miraloma Way

(714) 765-6490

Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Ponderosa Park Family Resource Center

320 E. Orangewood Ave.

Monday-Tuesday: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Wednesdays: 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Thursdays: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Fridays:  8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

West Anaheim Youth Center

320 S. Beach Blvd.

(714) 765-6400

Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday-Sunday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m

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