cloudy.png
Monday October 3rd, 2022 7:40PM

Northwest heat wave: Portland mayor warns of risky weekend

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The mayor of Portland, Oregon, warned the Pacific Northwest could see the most dangerous part of an extended heat wave this weekend as Portland and Seattle appear to be on track to break records for extended scorching temperatures.

As the Northwest nears the sixth day of an intense hot spell, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said the weekend marks a new phase that could pose “the highest risk to our most vulnerable community members.”

“We’re reaching the most important phase of this heat emergency,” Wheeler said Friday.

Temperatures have neared the triple digits in Portland the entire week, hitting a high of 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 Celsius) on Tuesday. Forecasters predict temperatures could top 100 F (37.8 C) once again on Saturday.

On Friday the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office said it was investigating an additional possible heat fatality from suspected hyperthermia, bringing the total to five. The deaths were reported in Multnomah County, which is home to Portland, Umatilla County in the eastern part of the state, and Marion County, which includes the state capital Salem.

The deaths occurred Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The state medical examiner’s office said the heat-related death designation is preliminary and could change.

The heat wave has lasted longer than forecasters initially predicted, prompting Multnomah County to extend an emergency declaration that was set to expire on Saturday through Monday morning.

“Earlier in the week we did not anticipate that it would be this long or this severe,” said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury.

The county’s four emergency overnight cooling shelters were at 70% capacity on Thursday with around 220 people spending the night, Multnomah County said in a statement. Kafoury said officials will “be watching very carefully” to see whether the shelters will need to remain open through Sunday night, “which we had not originally planned to do.”

Portland “will probably need additional capacity” over the weekend, said Shad Ahmed, director of the city’s Bureau of Emergency Management, adding that his office is “working to ensure that we have the logistics, supply and staffing necessary to address that.”

The National Weather Service has extended excessive heat warnings in Portland and Seattle through Sunday evening.

On Tuesday, Portland set a daily record of 102 F (38.9 C). Forecasters said the city appears to be on track to at least tie previous heat wave duration records, which currently stand at six consecutive days of 95 degrees or warmer.

“Sunday would break the record” if temperatures that day hit 95 degrees, said David Bishop, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Portland.

Seattle on Tuesday also reported a new record daily high of 94 F (34.4 C).

If temperatures rise above 90 F (32.2 C) through Sunday in Seattle, that would be six straight days of the mercury topping 90 — something forecasters say has never happened before in the city.

Courtney Lewis and Rylee Griffin were visiting Seattle this week during the hot snap.

“I mean it is nice, like to help get a tan. But it’s just hot. Very hot,” Griffin said.

Forecasters predict there will be no relief until Monday when cool air from the Pacific Ocean blows in.

Climate change is fueling longer heat waves in the Pacific Northwest, a region where weeklong heat spells were historically rare, according to climate experts.

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.

About 800 people died in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia during that heat wave, which 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 older and lived alone.

While the current heat wave will not see such high temperatures, it remains “very serious” nonetheless, said Andrea Hamberg, interim director of Environmental Health Services at the Multnomah County Health Department in Oregon.

“This heat event might not feel as severe as the June 2021 heat dome. But in many ways it is,” Hamberg said, warning of a scorching day six and a day seven that “is forecast to be even hotter.”

"To compound that risk, we are not getting the overnight lows our homes need to cool and our bodies need to recover,” said Hamberg. Forecasters predict the low in Portland Friday night will not dip below 70 F (21.1 C).

Due to the long duration of the heat spell, officials have urged residents to check in on people who are more at risk of heat-related illness, such as older people and those who live alone.

During the 2021 heat dome, 78% of those who died in Multnomah County were 60 or older, and 71% lived alone, Hamberg said. She added that 94% of people died in their own homes.

The heat wave stretches south into Northern California and Nevada, where records fell for the second day in a row Friday in Reno with a high of 104 F (40 C). Even in the mountains around Lake Tahoe above elevations of 6,200 feet (1,890 meters), South Lake Tahoe, California followed Thursday’s record-high of 92 F (33.3 C) with a high of 91 F (32.8 C) on Friday, tying the previous mark set in 1988.

___

Associated Press videographer Manuel Valdes contributed from Seattle.

___

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.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Business
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Appalachian flooding deaths set to climb; more rain forecast
Trapped homeowners swam to safety and others were rescued by boat as record flash flooding killed at least 16 people in eastern Kentucky
7:58PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Northwest heat wave: Portland mayor warns of risky weekend
The mayor of Portland, Oregon, warned the Pacific Northwest could see the most dangerous part of a multiday heat wave this weekend
7:52PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Alex Jones' media company files for bankruptcy amid trial
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ media company Free Speech Systems has filed for bankruptcy, but his attorney says it shouldn't disrupt the defamation damages trial underway in Texas that seeks to force Jones to pay $150 million or more to the family of one of the children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School attack
7:49PM ( 27 minutes ago )
U.S. News
Court: 70-year-old indicted in Alabama church triple slaying
An Alabama grand jury has indicted a 70-year-old man on capital murder charges in the fatal shooting deaths of three people at a church potluck dinner in June
8:06PM ( 10 minutes ago )
House passes bill banning certain semi-automatic guns
The House has passed legislation to revive a ban on certain semi-automatic guns
7:52PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Stenson shares LIV lead with Reed as Mickelson has rough day
Henrik Stenson turned his focus to golf and it was good
7:48PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
House passes semi-automatic gun ban after 18-year lapse
The House has passed legislation to revive a ban on semi-automatic guns
7:02PM ( 1 hour ago )
Pope visits Nunavut for final apology of his Canadian tour
Pope Francis wrapped up his Canadian pilgrimage by meeting with Indigenous delegations and visiting Inuit territory in northern Nunavut
6:52PM ( 1 hour ago )
Zelenskyy visits port as Ukraine prepares to ship out grain
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has visited a Black Sea port to watch crews prepare to export grain trapped by Russia’s five-month-old war
5:34PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Jan. 6 panel to share 20 transcripts with Justice Department
The House Jan. 6 committee will share 20 of its interview transcripts with the Justice Department as federal prosecutors have been increasingly focused on efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the election
1:40PM ( 6 hours ago )
Appalachian floods kill at least 16 as rescue teams deploy
At least 16 people have died amid record floods in Kentucky
1:27PM ( 6 hours ago )
California aims to make its own insulin brand to lower price
California plans to make its own insulin
12:54PM ( 7 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Russian charged with using US groups to spread propaganda
The Justice Department says a Russian operative has been charged with using political groups in the United States to advance pro-Russia propaganda
7:07PM ( 1 hour ago )
White House hosts lawyers for discussion on abortion access
Attorney General Merrick Garland headlined a White House event bringing together pro bono lawyers, bar associations and public interest groups to discuss how best to offer legal services and protections for women seeking abortions
5:05PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP source: Ducks closing in on deal with D John Klingberg
A person with knowledge of the negotiations says the Anaheim Ducks are closing in on a one-year deal with defenseman John Klingberg
4:07PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Business
Appalachian flooding deaths set to climb; more rain forecast
Trapped homeowners swam to safety and others were rescued by boat as record flash flooding killed at least 16 people in eastern Kentucky
7:58PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Alex Jones' media company files for bankruptcy amid trial
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ media company Free Speech Systems has filed for bankruptcy, but his attorney says it shouldn't disrupt the defamation damages trial underway in Texas that seeks to force Jones to pay $150 million or more to the family of one of the children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School attack
7:49PM ( 30 minutes ago )
WVa delays chance to pass 1st new bill since abortion ruling
West Virginia lawmakers have passed up the chance to become the first state to approve new legislation restricting access to abortions after the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling
7:43PM ( 35 minutes ago )
Southwest rains flood deserts, cascade into Vegas casinos
The annual weather pattern known as the monsoon has brought a parade of storms to cities across the U.S. Southwest
7:09PM ( 1 hour ago )
After abortion ruling, WVa could become 1st to pass new bill
A bill up for a final vote in West Virginia’s Senate could make the state the first to pass new legislation restricting access to abortions after the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling
5:32PM ( 2 hours ago )