With air conditioning gone, Montgomery County residents seek cool places

(Photo: Suzanne Kennedy)

With power out most everywhere in the D.C. area and temperatures soaring into the 90's again Monday, it was wall-to-wall people at many cooling centers in the region.

That includes the Bethesda Library, where people used computers, laid on the floor, charged phones and, above all, stayed cool.

"If you need to charge your phone or Internet or anything you show up here and it's literally a madhouse," Bethesda resident Jacqueline Hirsch, who hasn't had power since Friday, said.

On the other side of the library, Pawan Dhingra brought his preschool-age son and spent time reading and chilling out.

"His camp got canceled," the Bethesda resident said. "We wanted to...hang out at a place that's going to be comfortable."

Across Montgomery County in Germantown, a public pool is one of the few in the county with power. That's where Gaithersburg resident Diana O'Keefe and her son, Brian, headed to beat the heat.

"It's just great to get out of the heat," Brian said. "It's great to cool off in the water."

Back in Wheaton, it looked like Christmas in July at Westfield Wheaton Mall, where the food court, bathrooms and, unsurprisingly, charging stations were packed.

"It's nice that there's still power here and to be able to get away from home where it's very hot," Silver Spring resident Matt Lloyd.