East Bay residents look for ways to escape the heat

The heat is especially intense in the East Bay this week. One of the hottest cities is Concord, where temperatures topped 100 degrees Tuesday. 

Residents, especially those without air conditioning, looked for various ways to deal with the heat. 

The Concord Senior Center on Parkside Circle is doubling as one this week. 

Richard Ramirez, who lives out of his van in Martinez, said he drove to the cooling center to charge his devices, and escape the oppressive heat for much of the day.

"It's very hot, I'm not going to lie, it's very, very hot, I actually just had to walk to Safeway earlier, and it was scorching. I was just melting, it felt like my feet were on fire," he said. 

Ramirez said he may head to Alameda to catch a cool breeze near the beach on Wednesday. 

Public health officials are urging people to stay hydrated, minimize outdoor activity, and stay indoors somewhere cool to avoid heat-related illnesses. Alameda County Fire and Contra Costa County Fire said they are responding to calls for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. They urged people to put off outdoor activities like hiking until the weather cools down. 

The Meadow Homes Spray Park was a popular spot for families Tuesday evening.

"I wet my feet, and my hair, by the time I come back out, I'm already dry, it's that hot," said Concord resident Tanya Zimiga. "You can't sit in the car with air conditioning, the house, the bill will go up so high."

A vendor selling Mexican ice cream made extra batches and flavors in anticipation of bigger crowds this week at the spray park. 

"I know the park's going to be full on Fourth of July because everyone's going to come out for a grill," said Leonardo Bravo, whose family owns Nieve De Garrafa Poblana. "It actually helps us spread out the word for us, since we are a small business, helping us to get big."

The heat also drove several people to the movie theater at The Veranda.

"I haven't seen a movie since COVID, it brought me here," said Martinez resident Lora Duncan. 

Duncan planned a day of indoor activities and errands. 

"This morning I had a facial, air conditioning, first thing," she said. "I went to the mall, I had a pedicure because I knew there'd be air conditioning there. Here I am at the movies. Next I'm going to go to Costco."