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Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 11:22am

Hot Weather Shelters Open

Several Georgia communities have shelters open to help people battle the heat blanketing the central and southern portions of the state.

Augusta-area residents can find cool air in shelters in Columbia and Richmond counties. They’re open all summer, not just for this heat wave.

And the City of Atlanta is also operating three neighborhood centers for those who need to escape the heat.

The National Weather Service warns of high temperatures and humidity south of Rome and Gainesville through Thursday morning. Forecasters say cooler temperatures should arrive by week’s end.

Officials say young people, the elderly and those with heart conditions are most susceptible to heat-related illnesses. They’re asking people to check in on friends, neighbors and family who might be at risk.