The intense heat wave that hit the Seattle area starting late last week peaked on Monday, with temperatures in Sammamish hitting close to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
With this historic heat wave impacting the entire Pacific Northwest region of the U.S., there were few places residents could travel to get relief. Many residents in Sammamish stayed behind to tough it out.
“This has probably been the hottest summer here in Sammamish, and our homes build for trapping heat have essentially become large ovens,” long-time resident Varsha Vipins, 35, said.
Locals, who have never been prepared for such unusually high June temperatures, scurried across shops in search of air conditioners and portable cooling units with little success. Air conditioners were sold out at Issaquah Home Depot and Redmond Costco on Saturday morning.
On Sunday afternoon, the Sammamish Landing parking lot was full. Hundreds of people wre also soaking for hours in the water and seeking shade beneath the many trees at Pine Lake Park.
Organizations and city governments across Sammamish have opened up cooling stations from Saturday through Tuesday to help residents find relief.
The Sammamish YMCA opened one of its rooms for the community to cool off. Sammamish City Hall also opened its lobby as a cooling center, and stocked it with water, seating and restroom facilities.
The Splash Park is now open to the public at Sammamish Commons from 9:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m. daily.
Although public facilities are available, some residents young and old hunkered down at home to beat the heat.
“I drink up lots of lemonade and plan to play with my friends indoors with all varieties of board games,” said 10-year-old Ameya Vipins at the beginning of the heat wave.
Bill Jones, 70, said that he relaxed indoors with family and “loads of ice cream.”
On Tuesday, the temperature came down to the low 90s. Forecasters predict a continued cooling off this week, but high temperatures are still likely to stay in mid-to-upper 80s, which is higher than normal for this time of the year.