Memphis on heightened alert during record-breaking heat wave - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis on heightened alert during record-breaking heat wave

(WMC-TV) - Memphis police and firefighters are expected to hit the streets Thursday to go door to door in areas prone to heat-related problems.

The city of Memphis announced new emergency plans Wednesday to help people find ways to deal with the record-breaking heat wave, including free rides via MATA for those who qualify to places like community centers and libraries.

"We just want to take a proactive approach in preventing any fatalities that are heat-related," said City of Memphis CAO George Little.

The city plans to convert the Foote Homes Community Center into an overnight cooling center.  It should be operational sometime Thursday.

MIFA and Salvation Army are helping house the homeless, while police and firefighters are expected to check on seniors and shut-ins in my areas by going door to door.  The city is suggesting all able-bodied citizens do the same.

"Everybody who comes out here needs to be very careful," said Memphis resident Patricia Jackson.  "Because it's scorching."

With no significant relief in sight, the city said emergency plans may be heightened or modified.

Darius James did not want to leave his house Wednesday, but he had to go to work at McDonald's.

"It's too hot," said James.  "Got to work, get money.  That's life."

James said he spends a lot of time on days like Wednesday in the restaurant's walk-in cooler.

"I try to stay in the cool room for a bit," said James.

The temperature has topped out this week near the all-time high of 108 degrees reached in the summer of 1980.  That summer, 83 Memphians died from heat-related causes.

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Citizens Service Center:  901-576-6500

Homeless:

Women without children call Salvation Army:  901-543-8586

Men call Union Mission:  901-526-8434

Families call emergency housing hotline:  901-260-4663

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