Portland metro area under ‘excessive heat warning’ this week
PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - The Portland metro area has entered a long stretch of hot weather, and city officials have taken steps to make sure people stay safe.
Starting Monday, the Portland area will be in the upper 90s, and it’s looking likely that the area will see three days in a row of triple-digit temperatures - Tuesday through Thursday.
The Portland metro area, Salem, Columbia River Gorge and Lower Columbia Basin are under an excessive heat warning through Friday. Other areas west of the Cascades, with the exception of the beaches, are under a heat advisory.
The city of Portland and Multnomah County each issued emergency declarations for the hot weather on Sunday. The city and county are preparing to open overnight cooling shelters beginning Tuesday, and some library branches will have extended hours.
Beginning on Monday, TriMet says it will not turn anyone away who is riding to a cool place and cannot afford the fare.
Multnomah County has been preparing for the heatwave all last week, installing nearly 80 air conditioning units in homes where people are most vulnerable. Those include people with a low income and that live in heat islands around the metro area.
The Joint Office of Homeless Services has passed out over 15,000 water bottles, hundreds of cooling towels and misting bottles to those living outside.
Last year, temperatures reached 116 degrees. That heatwave killed 69 people in Multnomah County.
While this week won’t be as hot, Denis Theriault, deputy communications director with Multnomah County, said there have been lessons learned, and they’ve been planning for this summer ever since.
“Most folks who perished last summer in that June heatwave were folks who lived alone without air conditioning,” he said. “By reaching those folks now, getting more air conditioners out to folks. We’ve got lists of buildings where we’ve been reaching out to folks, talking to property owners, letting them know about resources. That outreach started a while ago. Those are all things that weren’t in place before but are very much a part of the plan going forward.”
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