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Iowa City's Outdoor Population Deals With Hottest Day of the Year

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa City is known as a city with a lot going on outdoors, particularly in the summer. The population includes shoppers, students and the homeless, among many other groups.

City officials grew concerned of the heat wave Tuesday, prompting them to begin promoting “cool public places.”

The city released a list of places for people to find cool air, including the public library, senior center and downtown recreation center.

“We just want people to know there are places to cool off, normal operating facilities where the public is welcome,” said Shannon McMahon, a representative for the city.

The city also promoted pools and splash pads, which haven’t seen crowds drawn in by heat yet this summer.

“It’s been a pretty easy summer, overall,” said McMahon.

“We started sweating into our eyes at the first dumpster,” said Jackson Timothy, who dumpster dives as a means to make money and collect objects.

Timothy said he lives in a tent, so dealing with the heat can become an issue.

“The fountains are great, just got to stay wet,” he said.

Police who patrol downtown said there aren’t any significant concerns about homeless people dealing with the heat. Officers frequently become watchdogs of the homeless during inclement weather periods. Last winter they spent cold nights trying to find shelter for people who were forced to sleep outside.