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Salinas Valley residents cool off with swimming and snacks amid heatwave

SOLEDAD, Calif. (KION) Families and kids were out enjoying the community pool in Soledad on Thursday, which just opened a couple days ago in time for the heat wave.

Scenes like these were not around last summer, with COVID-19 shutting down all community pools and even coastal beach access. But with restrictions effectively gone now, Central Coast residents were able to enjoy some of the things they couldn't before this time last year.

"It feels awesome, it feels so wonderful," said Frances Bengteson, the executive director of the Soledad-Mission Recreation District.

There have been plenty of hot days since March 2020, and since the Soledad Pool Facility remained closed all pandemic until just a few days ago, plenty of kids and adults have been itching to swim this week.

"Our phone has been ringing off the hook. We just have the one line since 1974 and it just does not stop ringing," said Bengteson.

"Within this week, it's kind of bipolar. I mean it was really, really hot and then all of a sudden, it started getting windy and then it started getting cloudy and it started raining. So I thought for sure, earthquake season," said Sonya Coral, a Soledad resident.

Soledad residents also came out to a farmers market where there were plenty of cool treats to cool down with. A few residents did not realize California's grid operator had issued a Flex Alert for households to conserve energy use in the evening. But throughout the day, it was a steady effort to stay cool.

"Trying to stay cool, stay under the AC and not get sunburned," said Coral.

"Earlier, it was really, really slow. There was nobody here, but about two hours ago, it started getting a little bit more packed," said Iris Jacome, who works at Cocos Las Islas at the farmers market.

Vendors like Cocos Las Islas thrive on hot weather, when people are looking for a sweet treat. Whether it is taking a stroll through the streets or a lap in the pool, there is been plenty of joy to be had in a hot day.

And perhaps this year, we can enjoy it a little more than before.

"My favorite thing about this job is when the kids come running up with their goggles on and their swim caps ready. It's been so great to have that experience again," said Bengteson.

PREVIOUS ARTICLE: It was a hot day on Thursday on the Central Coast. 

People in Soledad came out to their community pool to take swimming lessons and enjoy the cooler waters inside. 
There were plenty of people out at a farmer’s market as well in Soledad. 

KION’s Josh Kristianto will have more at 10 and 11. 

Monterey County / News / Video
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Veronica Macias

Veronica Macias is an evening anchor at KION News Channel 5/46.

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Josh Kristianto

Josh Kristianto is a weekend anchor and multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.


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