City of Las Cruces Creates Cooling Stations, Blackout Plan

City of Las Cruces Creates Cooling Stations, Blackout Plan
Friday, June 10, 2011 - 3:18pm

LAS CRUCES- In advance of any potential disruption in electric service the City of Las Cruces has identified five  facilities that will be used as cooling stations for the elderly, other high risk residents, and the general public.

A cooling station is a place that offers shelter from the heat in the event of power outages.

The public will be notified through the news media should the need arise to activate the cooling stations.

The locations are:
• City Hall, 700 N. Main St.
• Las Cruces Convention Center, 680 East University Avenue
• East Mesa Recreation, 5589 Porter Drive
• Benavidez Center, 1045 McClure Road
• Munson Senior Center, 975 S. Mesquite Street

The facilities will be staffed from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. for the duration of the rolling blackouts, should they occur. Each facility will be equipped with generators, fans, portable air conditioners and water will be provided.

In addition, air conditioned RoadRUNNER Transit buses may be used to transport residents to cooling stations and the City will waive fares in order to accommodate as many residents as possible. Also, the City’s two outdoor swimming pools, East Mesa Bataan Memorial Pool, 6141 Reynolds Drive and Laabs Pool, 701 W. Picacho Avenue, will be utilized at no cost to the public from 12 p.m. -6 p.m. in one hour sessions.

The City of Las Cruces will operate a non-emergency hotline for residents to receive information about the cooling stations. The number is 575/541-2000 and will be operational 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. For emergencies call 911.

The City’s homebound meal delivery services will operate as normal in the event of rolling blackouts.

Both the Las Cruces police and fire departments are prepared to enhance their staffing levels in the event emergency services experience an increase in call volume.

The Las Cruces Police Department is reminding motorists to treat an intersection with non-functioning traffic signals as if it is controlled by stop signs. For example, non-functioning traffic signals at four-way intersections should be treated as four-way stops.

Traffic signals that are flashing red also should be treated as all-way stops. The city’s traffic signals are programmed to resume normal operation shortly after power is restored.

The Utilities Department has rented portable generators to provide power to water wells, and will ask customers to conserve water to reduce the amount of electricity needed to power the wells.

El Paso Electric is also asking customers to conserve electricity in an effort to help avoid potential rolling blackouts.

The City will issue further updates as warranted.

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