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Forecasters warn of a historic heatwave this weekend for the Portland metro area. An Excessive Heat Warning in effect from 10 a.m. PDT Saturday through 11 p.m. Monday. Dangerously hot afternoons highs are likely to hit the triple digits — 107°- 115°F. On Thursday, June 24, 2021, Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties released the locations of cooling centers in the region (all links are listed at the end of the story).
Individuals at the greatest risk for heat-related illness are infants and children up to 4 years old, older adults over 65, overweight people, and those who are ill or on certain medications. If there is no place to stay cool, they should go to one of the locations below or call 211 from anywhere in the tri-county area or use their website.
Experts recommend people restrain from strenuous activity in the hottest part of the day and try to do these activities in the early morning or late evening hours. Use sunscreen when outside, and remember to stay hydrated. Drink water and avoid drinks containing caffeine, sugar, or alcohol as they tend to dehydrate.
Multnomah County Heat Relief Locations
All of the pools and splash pads in Multnomah County opened on June 21 for the first time in over a year. The county reports the following locations are open: Creston Outdoor Pool at 4454 SE Powell Blvd; Grant Outdoor Pool at 2300 NE 33 Avenue; Montavilla Outdoor Pool at 8219 NE Glisan Street; Peninsula Outdoor Pool at 700 N Rosa Parks Way; Pier Outdoor Pool at 9341 N St. Johns Avenue; Sellwood Outdoor Pool at 7951 SE Seventh Avenue; and Wilson Outdoor Pool at 1151 SW Vermont Street. The phone numbers and hours are on their website.
Several libraries are open in Multnomah County. The Capitol Hill, Gresham, Holgate, Kenton, and Midland libraries welcome library patrons back to browse the collection, access technology, pick up holds, ask questions, and use restrooms starting June 1. The hours for Saturday and Sunday are adjusted to accommodate the worst heat of the day — noon-8 p.m. The librarian who answered the phone said, “the libraries will be handing out lots of cold water.”
Larger cooling centers in the county will be open 24 hours, beginning at 1 p.m. on Friday, June 25, through Monday, June 28, or longer if the extreme heat persists. People and their pets are welcome to come in from the heat. Water, snacks, chairs, sleeping mats, and blankets will be provided. They advise those coming to the center to bring their own books, games, and comfort items. Pets must be in a carrier or on a leash. Multnomah County Animal Services can assist with pet supplies such as bedding, crates, and litter boxes.
The cooling centers are:
- Oregon Convention Center at 960 NE 1st Ave., Portland, 97232.
- Sunrise Center at 18901 E Burnside St., Portland, 97233.
- Arbor Lodge Shelter at 1952 N Lombard St, Portland, 97217.
Clackamas County Extreme Heat Cooling Centers
Clackamas County identified locations for people to get out of the heat and cool down. People in Canby, Estacada, Gladstone, Lake Oswego, Mollala, Oregon City, Portland, Sandy, Welches, West Linn, and Wilsonville. Due to COVID-19, the county advises visitors that face coverings must be worn in all cooling centers.
All of the locations are listed on the county website (link below). Here are some unexpected places offering people refuge from the extreme heat.
In Canby, there are two locations, including Denny’s Restaurant on 1st Avenue for those needing a reprieve from the heat.
The other is a church open Friday through Monday at noon or until the temperature drops below 85°F. heat. People will be allowed to stay for an hour and a half without any obligation to purchase any 85°F.
The Estacada Community Watch is offering misters, water, ice, and shade. They will be assisting overheated people on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.
Washington County ‘Beat the Summer Heat’ at the Library
The following Washington County libraries are open for people to cool off in their buildings during the extreme heat:
- Beaverton City Library’s extended hours are Saturday and Sunday, 5:30-8:30 p.m., and Monday, 6:30-9 p.m.
- Hillsboro Brookwood Library will remain open until 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
- North Plains Public Library’s extended hours on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday between noon to 9 p.m., and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Other libraries are open in Washington County to find out their locations and hours use the link below.
Additional Advisories for Staying Safe
Meteorologists believe the highs during the advisory will break the record set in 1965 and 1981 — 107°F. In addition to the heat advisory, the region is also during the fire season. Officials remind everyone there is a high fire burn ban effective through July 1. They are warning against lighting fireworks as well.
The majority of people living in the Northwest do not have air conditioning. Those who do not are reminded the cooling centers are for everyone who needs a break from the heat.
Also, remember that heat affects dogs, cats, and farm animals. Add ice to their water bowls or troughs, make sure they have plenty of shade, and never lock them up in a hot building.
Be mindful of heatstroke symptoms including exaggerated panting, rapid heartbeat, high fever, vomiting, staring, anxious expression, and warm, dry skin. Take the animal to a vet if they are exhibiting these symptoms.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Multnomah County: Library Locations
Portland.gov: Play Swim Schedule
Washington County Cooperative Library Services: Heat Shelters — Beat the Summer Heat!
Clackamas County: Cooling Centers
Clackamas County: Extreme Heat and Wildfire Risk
KGW8 News: Places to escape the heat in Multnomah County
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