Amazon is turning part of its Seattle headquarters into a public cooling hub as the Pacific Northwest faces an unprecedented heat wave.
The air-conditioned cooling center is installed at the Amazon Meeting Center, which is part of the company’s South Lake Union campus in downtown Seattle. The site has space for up to 1,000 people, according to the city of Seattle’s website. Many homes in the area lack air conditioning, as Seattle’s climate is usually mild.
The meetinghouse is a stone’s throw from the Amazon Spheres, or the crystal orbs that anchor its campus in downtown Seattle. Amazon previously turned the meetinghouse into a pop-up clinic to administer Covid-19 vaccines earlier this year.
Unprecedented heat waves are sweeping through the Pacific Northwest, pushing daytime temperatures into the triple digits and causing power outages in parts of the region. Temperatures in Seattle topped 100 degrees on Monday, marking the first time on record that the city has had three consecutive triple-digit days, according to the National Metereological Service.
Before this week, the city only had three days in the past 126 years in which the temperature reached 100, according to a spokesman for the National Weather Service cited by Scientific American. Scientists say climate change is making extreme temperatures more common.
Even in the intense heat, Amazon warehouses in Kent, Washington, remained open, The Seattle Times reported Sunday. A facility in the Kent warehouse complex was running on “power hours” in some departments, where workers were required to move as quickly as possible for an hour to improve productivity, the Times reported, citing the workers. installation. Amazon spokeswoman Maria Boschetti denied that the company had daylight hours at the facility.
Elsewhere, Portland on Sunday saw temperatures hit a record 112 degrees, just one day after hitting a high of 108 degrees. The National Weather Service expects temperatures in Portland to rise as high as 114 degrees Monday, breaking the heat record for the third day in a row.