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What to know ahead of heatwave: Cooling centers, heat exhaustion symptoms

Temperatures are soaring this week. WQAD News 8 compiled information to help deal with the heatwave.

MOLINE, Ill. — Temperatures are soaring in the Quad Cities this week, similar to the heat wave that hit the area back in late July. The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat advisory through the evening of Thursday, Aug. 24. 

To reduce exposure, three schools in the Rock Island-Milan School District #41 will be dismissing students at 1:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The schools ending early are Eugene Field Elementary, Ridgewood Elementary, and Rock Island High School due to air conditioning repairs taking place. 

News 8 compiled a list of tips to avoid heat-related illnesses or injuries. In addition, there are many cooling centers people can go to if air conditioning is not accessible. 

  • Drink a lot of water or other fluids to stay hydrated. However, avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol. 
  • Take cool showers or baths. 
  • Do not leave children or pets inside cars. The interior temperature can soar up to 120 degrees rapidly, according to the Red Cross. 
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothes. Try to avoid dark clothing that can absorb the sun's rays.
  • Try to limit outdoor activities or postpone them until temperatures go down. 
  • Avoid intense exercising during the hottest times of the day. 
  • For those who have to work outdoors, take frequent breaks and put a buddy system in place in case something happens. 
  • Make sure to check in on those without air conditioning, who are at risk of being affected by the heat or spend a lot of time alone. 
  • Check on animals and make sure they have cool water and shade. 
  • Wear sunscreen when outside. 

Signs of heat-related illnesses

It's important to know the signs of heat exhaustion in order to act accordingly. Here are some from the American Red Cross:

  • Cool, moist, pale or flushed skin
  • Heavy sweating
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Exhaustion

If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion, move them to a cooler place. Remove tight clothing and spray them with water. Wet cloths or towels can also be applied to the skin. In addition, immersing the person in cool water can help. 

According to the Red Cross, heat strokes usually occur when signs of exhaustion are ignored. Changes in consciousness, high body temperature and vomiting are all signs of heat stroke. If someone is showing signs of heat stroke, call 911 and work to cool them down with the tips mentioned above. 

Another ailment that can result from dehydration is kidney stones, according to the University of Iowa Health Care. The stones are formed from calcium and other materials usually filtered out of the kidneys. 

"When the kidneys have a steady flow of fluid moving through them, those bits stay tiny and pass out of the body unnoticed," according to Ryan Steinberg, a urologist at the university. If there is not enough or less fluid present, the "tiny bits" can "stick together and grow."

Cooling centers 

If your home doesn't have air conditioning, there are public places that can provide some relief from the heat. Public places like libraries or shopping malls are good places to spend time inside for a few hours. 

Some counties have designated cooling centers as well for the public. News 8 will update this list if more are announced. 

Scott County


  • Vera French Carol Center at 808 N. Harrison St. - 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The Center at 1411 Brady St. - 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Public libraries


  • Bettendorf Public Library at 2950 Learning Campus Dr. - 9 a.m. to 89 p.m. 

Blue Grass (also in Muscatine County)

  • City's Public Safety Building at 606 W. Mayne St. - Open until Friday

Rock Island County 

  • South Rock Island Township at 4330 11th St. - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Christian Care at 2209 Third Ave. - 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Public libraries

Henry County, IL

  • Colona Activity Center at 617 8th St, Colona - 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Friday, Aug. 25
  • Colona Scott Family Park at 5775 Poppy Garden Road, Colona - 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Friday, Aug. 25

Knox County

  • Galesburg Public Safety Building at 150 South Broad St. - Will be open 24 hours 
  • Galesburg YMCA at 1324 W. Carl Sandburg Dr. - 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. 
  • Village Hall at 100 E. First St. in East Galesburg - 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wataga Fire Station at 310 W. Willard St. in Wataga - 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Clinton County

  • Clinton County Administration Building at 1900 N 3rd St., Clinton - Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until Aug. 25

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