Portlanders still trying to cool off after a week of hot temperatures

Published: Jul. 31, 2022 at 4:29 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - A week of temperatures about 95 degrees is coming to an end Sunday as Portlanders continue to find ways to cool off.

Andrew Borel went through the week without air conditioning in his apartment on the east side of the city. He said he expects the heat every summer and expects his apartment to get even hotter because a portable AC unit is a little too pricey for his budget.

“It’s been pretty miserable, but I get through it,” he said. “I work from home so that sucks too.”

Borel went with Kara Rilly to the coast to stay cool. She has an air conditioner for her apartment in Northwest Portland. Rilly said she bought it after making it through the heat dome in 2021.

“I have animals and it’s one thing for me to suffer in the heat,” Rilly said. “But for them, I feel really bad.”

To help the most vulnerable people in the metro area stay cool, the Multnomah County Health Department has spent a good portion of the summer delivering 129 portable air conditioning units. A spokesperson for the department said they have about 50 more left to give out but 1,000 more have been ordered. The first shipment should arrive in the next two weeks.

Houseless Portlanders don’t have the opportunity to get an air conditioning unit from the county and state. Robb, who is experiencing houselessness in Northwest Portland, said he has to find other ways to beat the heat.

“It’s been sweltering and when you got these kinds of temperatures, the best thing you can do is have a cooling center,” Robb said.

He said the city and county have done a better job this year at providing resources, like cooling centers, for the unhoused during this heat wave. He also said, community members have been kind, helping him stay hydrated.

“Restaurants in the area are pretty quick about getting me glasses when I need them,” Robb said. “They don’t say no. They always give me water quickly.”