Few people used cooling centers as L.A. suffered deadly heat over Labor Day weekend

Local news
The thermometer at Calvary Church in Woodland Hills registers 117 degrees during a heat wave in August 2020. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The thermometer at Calvary Church in Woodland Hills registers 117 degrees during a heat wave in August 2020. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Despite scorching temperatures that shattered official records and led to deaths on the street, many chairs ended up sitting empty at the handful of city cooling centers set up to spare Angelenos from the blistering heat.

Fewer than 300 people used the six centers that were set up at Los Angeles city facilities over the Labor Day holiday weekend — averaging fewer than 11 visitors daily at each site, according to numbers provided by the office of Mayor Eric Garcetti. One cooling center in South Los Angeles had no one stop in at all on Labor Day or the previous Friday.

Homeless advocates and city leaders who have pushed for more cooling centers and other aid for unhoused people during heat waves say that such facilities are not underused for lack of need. Across the county, at least three deaths over the holiday weekend have been linked to the heat wave, including two within L.A. city limits, according to the county coroner.

But Los Angeles has a slim number of official cooling centers scattered across the vast city — and people are often reluctant to travel far in broiling temperatures. Many homeless people are uneasy about leaving their belongings behind on the street. And some people in need, housed or unhoused, are unaware that the city facilities exist.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

A graph shows how many people visited cooling centers in Los Angeles during Labor Day weekend in 2020. (L.A. Times)
A graph shows how many people visited cooling centers in Los Angeles during Labor Day weekend in 2020. (L.A. Times)

Maps, Radar and Other Data

Surf Report (Stats by Solspot)

Surf Report (Stats by Solspot)

Surf Report (Stats by Solspot)

Los Angeles Virtual Doppler

Los Angeles Virtual Doppler

Southwest Doppler Radar

Southwest Doppler Radar

California Satellite Radar

California Satellite Radar

Los Angeles Basin Radar

Los Angeles Basin Radar

Orange County Radar

Orange County Radar

Inland Empire Radar

Inland Empire Radar

Most Popular

Latest News

More News

KTLA on Instagram

Instagram

KTLA on Facebook

KTLA on Twitter