Portland, Oregon — In the heat of the heat, Matthew Carr spent a lunch break at a fountain in downtown Portland, Oregon. At the age of 57, he had to work outside to pick up trash in the city and find a way to cool off.
“It’s pretty hot,” Kerr said. “I can take off my uniform, jump into it with my shorts for a break, and hang out for 10 or 15 minutes.”
On Tuesday, temperatures rose to 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Oregon’s largest city. Meteorologists predict that it will be the hottest day of the heat that these scorching weathers are rarely seen in the Pacific Northwest, which they believe will be unusually long.
According to the National Weather Service, Seattle reported a new record of 94 degrees Celsius, the highest temperature on July 26, surpassing the previous record of 92 degrees Celsius from 2018.
Elsewhere in Washington, record daily temperatures were also recorded in Bellingham and the capital Olympia, experiencing 90 and 97 degrees Celsius, respectively.
Oregon health officials said the number of people reporting fever-related illnesses in the emergency department, and the number of people calling emergency services for similar symptoms, is increasing.
“Daily visits to fever-related illnesses exceed expected levels across the state,” said Jonathan Modi, chief communications officer for the public health department of the Oregon Department of Health. He said there were 32 such visits to the emergency department on Monday, compared to 3-5 times a day before the heat wave began.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown has declared a state of emergency in most parts of the state, warning that extreme temperatures can cause power outages and transportation disruptions.
“Many parts of Oregon are facing high heat waves, so governments at all levels have the resources they need to keep Oregon’s people safe and healthy,” Brown said in a statement. It’s important. “
Portland authorities have set up a cooling center in a public building and a mist station in the park. TriMet, which operates public transport in the Portland metropolitan area, will allow unpaid passengers to ride for free when heading to the cooling center.
Most of Portland’s garbage companies started picking up early on Tuesday morning at 4am to reduce driver exposure to heat and health risks. Early rounds may last until Friday morning.
Multnomah County, including Portland, will open four nighttime emergency cooling shelters starting Tuesday night to allow people who cannot cool themselves to spend the night. According to Kate Jaiser, a spokesman for Multnomah County, the location can accommodate a total of 245 guests.
“We’re going to find space for those who need it,” Yeiser said, adding that the site has a “turnaway ban policy.” She said the county could open an additional night center today if demand is high.
Many libraries have extended business hours and can be left open until 8 or 9 pm to give people more time to cool down.
As the northwestern United States became hot, few areas on the eastern side of the Mississippi River received heat recommendations on Tuesday, and the heat on the east coast appeared to have collapsed.
Philadelphia reached 99 degrees on Sunday before taking humidity into account. Newark, NJ has recorded five consecutive days of over 100 degrees, the longest since the record began in 1931. Boston also reached 100 degrees, surpassing the previous record of 98 degrees set in 1933.
On Tuesday, New York and Boston peaked in the 1980s.
Northwest residents and officials adapt to the likely reality of longer, hotter heat waves following the deadly “heat dome” weather event last summer that caused record temperatures and deaths. I’m trying.
In response, Oregon has passed a law requiring air conditioning in at least one room in all new homes built after April 2024. The law already prohibits landlords from restricting tenants from installing cooling devices in rental units in most cases.
During the heat wave of 2021 from late June to early July, about 800 people died in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. Temperatures at the time soared to 116 degrees Celsius, the highest ever in Portland, breaking heat records in cities and towns throughout the region. Most of the people who died were elderly and lived alone.
Temperatures are not expected to be that high this week, but the expected number of consecutive hot days has raised concerns among officials.
The National Weather Service has issued extreme heat warnings to a large area of Oregon and Washington (including Portland and Seattle), fearing that nighttime temperatures will not help cool the population sufficiently. Did.
“The main reason for this warning is the fact that these low temperatures only fall in the range of 65-70 degrees Celsius and the fact that this is a very long-term event,” said a meteorologist at the National Weather Service. Corby Neumann says. Portland.
According to Newman, Portland is moving in the direction of “connecting or surpassing” previous heat wave duration records. The record is over 95 degrees for 6 consecutive days and has only been achieved twice so far.
Officials in Seattle and Portland issued air quality recommendations from Tuesday to Saturday, warning that smog could reach levels that could be unhealthy for sensitive groups.
Cooling sites are spread throughout Seattle, King County, and western Washington.
In Portland, an emergency cooling shelter provided relief on Tuesday to unoccupied veteran Rory Lidster, who described the heat as “unpleasant.”
“I think these cooling shelters are really good. Older people really need them, and everyone really needs them in this kind of heat,” Lidstar said.
The 55-year-old said he has lived in a tent on the street for the past two weeks. He called the shelter every morning and explained that he had no vacant lots. This will allow him to spend the night at an emergency cooling site where he wants to stay “for a while”.
“I’m here as much as we can,” Lidstar said.
Contributed by AP photographer Craig Mitchelldyer. Lisa Baumann contributed from Bellingham of Wash.
Claire Rush is a corps member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in the local newsroom to report on unreported issues.Follow her twitter..
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The northwest is sultry under “unpleasant” days of heat waves | News
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