Beat the heat: Where to cool off in the Snoqualmie Valley

As Puget Sound braces for potential record-breaking heat over the weekend, it’s important to find ways to stay cool.

North Bend could see temperatures above 100 degrees beginning on Saturday (June 26), and spiking to 107 degrees on Sunday, cooling slightly to 106 on Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

The heat wave is coming a little earlier than usual, with the first week of July usually being hot in the region. Extreme heat poses a danger to people through heatstroke and exacerbating other conditions. Children, the elderly, outdoor workers and low-income people are at a higher risk of getting heat-related illnesses.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cooling options are more limited this year in the Snoqualmie Valley.

Cooling locations can be found at the North Bend library and the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital.

North Bend City Hall will be open as an emergency cooling center from June 26 to 28. The City Council chambers and lobby will be used as an emergency cooling center from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. People will need to follow public health guidelines, including signing in, temperature checks and mask wearing whether or not they are vaccinated, as well as social distancing.

Residents can bring mats and cold food. Bathrooms and drinking water will be available, and occupancy will be limited to 75 people. No drugs or alcohol are allowed.

For North Bend residents without air conditioning, the city is advising people to keep their homes as cool as possible and consider visiting shopping malls, movie theaters, restaurants or relatives with air conditioning.

In Snoqualmie, there are three cooling locations including the Snoqualmie Fire Station at 37600 Snoqualmie Pkwy., which will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Masks are required. It will be open from Friday to Monday and will feature a misting fan, tent and drinking water.

The Snoqualmie Library will also be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at 7824 Center Blvd. SE. Masks are required and will be provided if needed. Drinking water will also be available.

The Snoqualmie Valley YMCA at 35018 SE Ridge St. will offer a cooling shelter on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, and from 7 to 11 a.m. and again from 3 to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Light snacks and bottled water are allowed. All ages are welcome, but photo ID is required for anyone 16 and older.

People are urged to watch for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke in themselves and others. These include heavy sweating, weakness, cold and clammy skin, a weak pulse, fainting and vomiting for heat exhaustion. Cool off people with these symptoms by having them sit in the shade and pouring cool water over their skin, or by placing a cold wet towel on the person’s neck and having them sip on cool water or Gatorade.

If signs or symptoms don’t improve within an hour or get worse, call 911.

For heat stroke, watch out for high body temperatures of 103 degrees or higher, hot and dry skin, rapid and strong pulse and loss of consciousness. If heat stroke is suspected, call 911 immediately and follow the same steps as for heat exhaustion. Ice packs can also be placed under armpits, around the neck and in the groin. Blow a fan directly at the person if possible.