Cooling stations are in place over the state at the request of Governor Bob Riley. They are designed to help people beat the heat, but how many people are really using them?
Houston County Emergency Management, Columbia Baptist Association, and the Governor's Office have teamed up to help with overheating pedestrians. However, despite the heat wave that has all of the Wiregrass baking under the relentless sun, nobody seems to be visiting the cooling stations placed in Dothan.
Cooling Station Director Stan Sanford said, "People are rather resourceful and they can find ways to deal with their problems. It's when they can't find those solutions that you need something like a cooling station."
So why hasn't anyone been coming to cool off?
Let’s think about whom would most likely go to a cooling station. Officials say the main users would be the homeless.
"Many of these will spend the night in the Rescue Mission,” Sanford said. “They're on the street during the day, and many of them live in wooded areas, abandoned houses, and that sort of thing. Most of these already have devised ways, survival techniques to deal with weather of any sort."
So if not the homeless, what about those who are elderly or disabled?
"The elderly are already somewhere now, and they may not have air conditioning, but it's probably better to stay where they are and they have tap water available then to get out in the heat and go someplace just to be cool for a few minutes," Sanford concluded.
Officials say that the need for cooling stations may just not be as high in Dothan as it would be in more congested areas, but they'll be there anyway, in case you pass by and want to cool off.