NATIONAL NEWS

Records fall as Northwest swelters under multiday heat wave

Jul 27, 2022, 6:18 AM | Updated: 9:12 am
Gabe DeBay, Medical Services Officer with the Shoreline Fire Department, gives hand sanitizer and w...
Gabe DeBay, Medical Services Officer with the Shoreline Fire Department, gives hand sanitizer and water to a homeless man during the hottest part of the day on July 26, 2022 in Shoreline, Washington. The Pacific Northwest is experiencing a heat wave with potentially record-breaking temperatures, which is expected to last for the rest of the week. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Free transportation to cooling centers and garbage pickup well before sunrise were among the steps being taken in the Pacific Northwest as the region hit the peak of a multiday heatwave.

Temperatures soared to 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 Celsius) in Oregon’s largest city on Tuesday, which is expected to be the hottest day of a scorching spell that will be unusually long for this part of the United States. It was also a new daily record for the city for July 26, besting the previous mark set in 2020.

Seattle also reported a new all-time daily high of 94 F (34.4 C), breaking the previous record of 92 F (33.3 C) from 2018, according to the National Weather Service.

Elsewhere in Washington state, record daily temperatures were also registered in Bellingham and the capital, Olympia, which experienced 90 F (32.2 C) and 97 F (36.1 C) respectively.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency across much of the state, warning the extreme temperatures may cause utility outages and transportation disruptions. Temperatures aren’t expected to cool in western Oregon and Washington until the weekend.

Under the sweltering heat, Matthew Carr spent his lunch break in a fountain in downtown Portland, Oregon. The 57-year-old works outside picking up trash for the city and had to find a way to cool off.

“This is pretty hot,” Carr said. “I can just take my uniform off, jump in there with my shorts for my break, and hang out for a good 10 or 15 minutes.”

Oregon health officials say there has been an uptick in the number of people reporting heat-related illness in emergency departments, and the number of those calling emergency services numbers for similar symptoms.

“Heat-related illness daily visits are above expected levels statewide,” said Jonathan Modie, lead communications officer at the Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division. He said there were 32 such visits to emergency rooms on Monday compared to three to five per day before the heat wave began.

Portland officials have opened cooling centers in public buildings and installed misting stations in parks. TriMet, which operates public transportation in the Portland metropolitan area, will allow passengers who cannot afford fares to ride for free when heading to cooling centers.

Most of Portland’s garbage companies began earlier pick-ups on Tuesday morning, starting as early as 4 a.m. to reduce drivers’ exposure to heat and health risks. The early rounds will likely continue through Friday morning.

Multnomah County, which includes Portland, planned to open four overnight emergency cooling shelters starting Tuesday night so people who can’t get cool on their own could spend the night. The locations can accommodate a total of 245 guests, said Multnomah County spokesperson Kate Yeiser.

“We’re going to find space for anybody who needs it,” Yeiser said, adding that the sites have a “no-turn-away policy.” She said the county may open an additional overnight center on Wednesday if there’s high demand.

Many libraries are extending their hours, staying open until 8 or 9 p.m. to allow people more time to cool off.

Residents and officials in the Northwest have been trying to adjust to the likely reality of longer, hotter heat waves following last summer’s deadly “heat dome” weather phenomenon that prompted record temperatures and deaths.

In response, Oregon passed a law requiring all new housing built after April 2024 to have air conditioning installed in at least one room. The law already prohibits landlords in most cases from restricting tenants from installing cooling devices in their rental units.

About 800 people died in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia during a 2021 heat wave that hit in late June and early July. The temperature at the time soared to an all-time high of 116 F (46.7 C) in Portland and smashed heat records in cities and towns across the region. Many of those who died were elderly and lived alone.

While temperatures this week are not expected to get that high, the anticipated number of consecutive hot days has raised concerns among officials.

The National Weather Service has issued an extreme heat warning for large swaths of Oregon and Washington state.

Officials in Seattle and Portland have issued air quality advisories from Tuesday through Saturday, warning that smog may reach levels that could be unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Cooling sites are open throughout Seattle, greater King County and throughout western Washington

___

AP photographer Craig Mitchelldyer contributed.

___

Claire Rush is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow her on Twitter.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

The USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier arrives at the French Mediterranean port of Marseille in J...
Ellie Kaufman, CNN

US Navy recovers jet blown off aircraft carrier from bottom of ocean

A U.S. Navy team recovered a military jet from a depth of 9,500 feet in the Mediterranean Sea on August 3 after the aircraft had blown overboard during "unexpected heavy weather" in July, a release from U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa said.
24 hours ago
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC...
ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press

Trump says FBI conducting search of Mar-a-Lago estate

Former President Donald Trump says the FBI is conducting a search of his Mar-a-Lago estate.
24 hours ago
Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta attend the "Grease" 40th anniversary screening in August 2018 ...
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN

John Travolta pays tribute to Olivia Newton-John

Actor John Travolta, who co-starred with Olivia Newton-John in the hit movie musical "Grease," has posted a statement in tribute to the late singer.
24 hours ago
FILE...
MICHAEL GOLDBERG, Associated Press/Report for America

Viral video of Mississippi arrest sparks investigation

An incident involving a white Mississippi Highway Patrol officer and three Black men is under investigation after a viral video showed the officer putting a handcuffed man into a chokehold and wrestling him into a ditch.
24 hours ago
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 14: Historian David McCullough poses for a picture at the History Makers Gala a...
Associated Press

David McCullough, Pulitzer-winning historian, dies at 89

David McCullough, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose lovingly crafted narratives on subjects ranging from the Brooklyn Bridge to Presidents John Adams and Harry Truman made him among the most popular and influential historians of his time, has died. He was 89.
24 hours ago
Lexington Fire Department Search and Rescue team perform a targeted search on Highway 476 where thr...
SEUNG MIN KIM, CHRIS MEGERIAN and BRUCE SCHREINER, Associated Press

Biden surveys flood damage in Kentucky, pledges more US help

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are witnessing firsthand the damage from deadly and devastating storms that have resulted in the worst flooding in Kentucky’s history.
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Records fall as Northwest swelters under multiday heat wave