California heat wave: Bay area beaches, public pools likely to fill up this Labor Day weekend as people seek refuge from high temperatures


PACIFIC, Calif. (KGO) — Beating the heat will likely be on the minds of many over Labor Day weekend.

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That’s why Northern California beaches might be a good place to cool off during the holiday heatwave.

“It’s like a nice cold shower in the morning,” said San Francisco resident Greg Brainard.

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The natural air conditioner is fully functioning and that is exactly why climate refugees from the warmer interior regions of the Bay Area are heading to the beaches of Pacifica.

“I imagine the water is going to be really good when it’s sunny and warm too,” Brainard said.

Riding the Labor Day weekend, Erez Bustan and his son traveled from Los Angeles to help cool off as they were also experiencing 100 degree heat.

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“Oh, it’s cooler, nicer, the water is quite warm by comparison I would say, so it’s a lot of fun,” Bustan said.

With the average temperature hovering around 70 degrees in Pacifica, chances are the only parking spots available near the beach are those for your board.

But judging by the number of surfers in the ocean, that might just be wishful thinking.

“These courts are definitely going to fill up this weekend, so I’d say good luck!” San Francisco resident Aditya Lakshmin said. “That’s what I would tell people, get out early.”

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John Degunto and his dog Kiah live a short walk from the beach.

“Traffic is blocked, it will get worse,” Degunto said. “If I want to go get something across town, forget it. I have to do it early or not do it at all.

And he says that when heat waves come, locals like him have two options.

“Either you stay home and hide or you go out of town because people are going to invade this beach, they’re going to invade all of them,” he said.

But coming to cool off or not, the locals want to remind you to respect their beach.

“As a local please take your trash home, that’s really what we would like you to do,” he said.

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The hottest day Pacifica could see this weekend will be Labor Day, with a high of 73.

A stark difference of 30 degrees from East Bay cities like Dublin, expecting their high on Monday to be 106 degrees.

East Bay Public Pools staff ready for Labor Day weekend

People also beat the heat by heading to public pools to cool off.

Clark Swim Center at Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek is a popular destination.

“It’s nice out here in the pool. It’s 70 degrees. So the water in the pool is nice,” says Cole Welsh, a Walnut Creek resident who came in for laps.

Labor Day weekend is traditionally the last big weekend for recreational swimming, says Karen Heaston-Martin, recreation program manager for the town of Walnut Creek.

In anticipation of the busy weekend and the excessive heat, she says they have scheduled additional staff, despite the continued shortage of lifeguards affecting public pools across the country.

“We condensed the areas available for public swimming, which allowed us to increase our numbers, to give our staff more breaks,” says Heaston-Martin. “And, also watch some of the spaces that we’ll be opening up as sort of cooling off areas. We have a fully air-conditioned classroom and weight room. We anticipate that people may need to get out of the (heat) and go sit in there for a bit.”

Clare Shields, who lives in Pleasant Hill, wanted to cool off and beat the crowds, so she went out for an early afternoon swim.

“I think it’s going to be very busy. This pool is populated from Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, people come here as an outdoor pool. (It’s a) great pool!” says Shields, who has been swimming here for more than 30 years.

If the public pools are too crowded, there are private pools for rent.

Amy Sabol offers her pool at her home in Orinda for $65 an hour on the Swimply app. It’s like Airbnb, but just for pools.

“This weekend we were overwhelmed with requests,” says Sabol.

Its pool includes a kitchen, guest house, shower and music to blast around the patio. She says there has been huge demand all summer, especially for this weekend.

“We get tons of requests a week. They’re usually people in the community, neighbors, families,” says Sabol. “If we really wanted to, I could probably create a whole economy out of my swimming pool.”

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