Searing temps prompt early pool openings in Alexandria

Kathy Stewart, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – The triple digit temperatures prompted some area pools to open days before their scheduled summer start.

The City of Alexandria opened two of its outdoor pools so that families could try to beat the heat, says Ralph Baird, manager of the city pools.

“The pools are open Thursday and Friday, ahead of schedule because of the extreme heat.”

The pools are free to city residents for these two days, he says.

On Thursday, the Memorial Pool, at 901 Wythe Street, was open from noon to 6 p.m. The Warwick Pool, at 3301 Landover Street, was open from 4 to 7 p.m. Both pools will open on Friday with the same hours.

Stephanie Lewis and her two young kids hit the Memorial Pool as soon as it opened.

“With this heat in particular, we need to be at the swimming pool. It’s about all you can do outside is be at the pool.”

Officials were concerned that swimmers wouldn’t know about the early openings and so wouldn’t come. The city informed residents of the change by email, but not everyone has internet access.

“They might not know yet, but they’ll find out,” says Teyrell Sitton, a lifeguard.

The Memorial Pool is named in honor of nine African-American children who drowned in the Potomac River while trying to keep cool during segregation.

Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)