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Kentuckiana braces for extreme heat, Operation White Flag goes into effect in Louisville

City leaders, outreach groups are offering ways for people to stay safe and hydrated as temperatures rise, especially those who have limited options to stay inside.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As Kentuckiana battles heat indexes circling around the triple digits, the community is taking safety measures and providing relief for those who have limited options to stay inside.

In Louisville, Mayor Greg Fischer announced eight Neighborhood Place locations running as designated cooling relief centers. Seniors can go to 14 Metro Senior Nutrition program congregate sites. And the Metro's Free Public Library's 17 branches are open for people who need a break from the heat.

On Monday afternoon, the city said Operation White Flag went into effect, allowing the Coalition for the Homeless to open select locations as shelters for people experiencing houselessness. During this period, TARC is waiving fees for rides to these sites.

Meanwhile, outreach groups in Southern Indiana are taking extra cases of water and essential items to encampments as the temperatures rise. The Jeffersonville-based group called Jesus Cares at Exit 0 invited folks to West Maple Baptist Church on Monday, with doors opened as a cooling station with water on site.

Outreach group Director Paul Stensrud said the center was open from 11:15 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday. He said they could stay open more days this week as the heat persists, but they'll decide that on a day-by-day basis.

"What we're trying to encourage is the folks who are unsheltered, or maybe someone in our community who just needs to get out of the heat, they're more than welcome to come down here to the church," Stensrud said. "It's a place you can sit, cool off, get a nice cold bottle of water and just have some good fellowship while you're here."

Jesus Cares at Exit 0 said while the weather increases need, donations have been running lower because of inflation. They're asking for assistance where possible, as groups and families do what they can to beat the heat.

If you'd like to donate, or for more information, click here.

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