The real danger — and available resources — during Portland’s current heatwave

Various agencies have opened 24-hour cooling centers throughout the city, in addition to the many daytime cooling and misting centers that the city and local nonprofits have set up in response to the heat.

Editor’s Note: This story is about a developing situation and will be updated as new information becomes available.

Although the Portland Metro will not face the record heat seen during last year’s heat dome, the current temperatures are dangerous.

Various agencies have opened 24-hour cooling centers throughout the city, in addition to the many daytime cooling and misting centers that the city and local nonprofits have set up in response to the heat. The designated cooling centers will remain in operation until at least Friday morning, according to a Wednesday news release from Multnomah County. (Full list below)

“Emergency management staff are monitoring the forecast, and if the forecast indicates we need to stay open after (Friday morning), we will make that decision and announce it,” said Denis Theriault, deputy director of communications for Multnomah County. .

The National Weather Service upgraded an existing excessive heat watch to an excessive heat warning on Tuesday morning, predicting temperatures in and around Portland could reach 103 degrees. Excessive heat warnings, the most severe heat alert, indicate that the heat index will reach at least 105 degrees within 12 hours and warns that conditions pose a threat to life or property, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

The excessive heat warning will remain in effect until at least 9 p.m. on Saturday. The National Weather Service is currently predicting highs of 98 degrees, 102 degrees, 102 degrees and 96 degrees in Portland for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

“Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those who work or participate in outdoor activities and for those who do not have access to air conditioning,” the warning reads. “…Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, avoid the sun, and watch relatives and neighbors. … Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outdoors. If possible, reschedule strenuous activities for early morning or evening.

Hospitals are already treating a surge of patients with symptoms of heat-related illnesses, according to a Wednesday news release from Multnomah County..

“Over the past three days, hospitals have treated 13 people for heat-related illnesses, when they would normally expect to see two or three,” the statement said. “Among those taken to the emergency room were people working outside or exercising outside during the heat and elderly people. Emergency medical services responded to 361 calls on Tuesday, about 25% more than a typical summer day; 13 of them were heat-related.

City and county brace for severe heat

Multnomah County officials and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced a formal emergency declaration Monday in a joint press release.

“This heat wave is going to last for several days,” Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said in the statement. “And with little relief at night, the risks are going to be compounded. We have prepared for this event, preparing cooling spaces and providing supplies, including cooling units and survival gear, to those who need it most. It’s not too late to make a plan and check on your neighbors and loved ones.

Theriault said while the 2021 heat dome event showed that people housed without air conditioning who don’t have the ability to go outside or open windows are most at risk during extreme heat events, a considerable threat still exists for homeless people in Portland.

“It’s dangerous for everyone in the community when it hits the high temperatures that we see, the duration of the high temperatures, and then the relative lack of cooling overnight,” Theriault said. “These factors are particularly difficult for people who cannot be outdoors during the cooler times of the night or who cannot open a window.”

A list of cooling shelters and misting stations can be found below:

(All information provided by Multnomah Countyunless otherwise stated)

24 hour cooling centers

Masks are mandatory and available on request.

  • Charles Jordan Community Center: 9009 N. Foss Avenue,
  • East Portland Community Center: 740 SE 106th Ave.,
  • Portland Building: 1120 SW 5th Ave.,
  • Sunrise Center: 18901 E. Burnside St.

Daytime Cooling Center

  • Old Town: 435 NW Glisan St., Portland (10 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
  • Lloyd Center: 1405 Lloyd Center, Portland (10 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Misting Centers (Operated by the city, unless otherwise specified)

  • Street Roots: 211 NW Davis St. (10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Friday) (not operated by the city, information provided by Street Roots)
  • East Portland Community Center: 740 SE 106th Ave. (from noon to 8 p.m.)
  • Glenhaven Park, near the skate park: 7900 NE Siskiyou St. (12 p.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • Harney Park, near restrooms: SE 67th Avenue and SE Harney St. (12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
  • Knott Park, West Restrooms: NE 112th Avenue and NE Russell St. (12 p.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • Lents Park, at Walker Stadium: 4808 SE 92nd Ave. (from noon to 8 p.m.)
  • Mt. Scott Community Center, near playgrounds: 5530 SE 72nd Ave. (from noon to 8 p.m.)

Libraries

Two libraries have expanded their opening hours to remain open every day until 9 p.m. until Saturday

  • Gresham: 385 NW Miller Ave., Gresham
  • Holgate: 7905 SE Holgate Blvd., Portland

Transportation

TriMet is waiving fares for those going to a cool place who can’t afford to pay. TriMet asks passengers to disclose that they are heading to a cool place when boarding without paying, although a “cool place” includes informal places like the homes of family and friends in addition to official cooling shelters. .

“When riding in transit during extreme heat, passengers will want to allow extra time and check trimet.org/alerts before traveling, as there may be heat-related service delays,” the website says. Multnomah County. “Anyone who needs help getting to cool space can also dial 2-1-1.”

Important links by Multnomah County:


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