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How North Texans can stay cool, conserve energy during this week's sweltering heat

Trying to beat the afternoon heat, Denma Selva, 11, plays in a fountain in Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021.
LM Otero
Trying to beat the afternoon heat, Denma Selva, 11, plays in a fountain in Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021.

North Texas is under an excessive heat warning until 8 p.m. Wednesday, as the heat indices in North and Central Texas are expected to hit as high as 120 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

The NWS recommended residents stay inside air conditioned buildings if possible. For those who must be outdoors, the NWS recommended wearing light-colored clothing, hydrating and taking frequent shaded breaks.

"It's the humidity that's really making the sweltering heat, that's making it dangerous out there," according to NWS meteorologist Juan Hernandez.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas — or ERCOT, the state's power grid operator — has asked Texans to conserve energy if possible Tuesday evening, between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The voluntary conservation notice comes as high temperatures rankle much of the state.

The conditions have not pushed ERCOT into emergency operations, according to the energy provider's voluntary conservation notice. However, the agency predicts record demand during the extreme heat.

The NWS predicts temperatures in North Texas will drop to 94 degrees Thursday and Friday before returning to the triple digits during the weekend.

ERCOT recommended energy-saving tips include:

  • Use ceiling fans and portable fans to circulate cold air
  • Close curtains and blinds on windows that receive direct sunlight
  • Avoid using washers, dryers or other large appliances
  • Unplug or turn off non-essential lights and appliances

North Texas cooling stations

The Salvation Army runs several cooling stations across North Texas.

Locations include:

  • Arlington Corps Community Center, 712 W. Abram St.
  • Carr P. Collins Social Service Center, 5302 Harry Hines Blvd.
  • Denton Corps Community Center, 1508 McKinney St.
  • Garland Corps Community Center, 451 W. Avenue D
  • Irving Corps Community Center, 250 E. Grauwyler Road
  • Lewisville Corps Community Center, 206 W. Main St.
  • McKinney Corps Community Center, 600 Wilson Creek Parkway
  • Oak Cliff Corps Community Center, 1617 W. Jefferson Blvd.
  • Pleasant Grove Corps Community Center, 8341 Elam Road
  • Plano Corps Community Center, 3528 14th St.
  • Waxahachie Corps Community Center, 620 Farley St.
Kailey Broussard is a reporter for KERA and The Texas Newsroom through Report for America (RFA). Broussard covers the city of Arlington, with a focus on local and county government accountability.