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Multnomah County Opens Five Daytime Cooling Shelters, Libraries Extend Hours Ahead of Two-Day Heat Wave

Temperatures are expected to top out at 101 degrees. Stay cool at these county-provided locations.

Although Portland’s upcoming two-day heat wave won’t be anything on the scale of what we saw at the end of June, the city and surrounding areas of the Willamette Valley will bake for the next two days at temperatures in the neighborhood of 99 to 101 degrees.

“It’s definitely cooled off a little,” David Bishop, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, says about what was initially predicted. “The high temperature forecasts have been bouncing around 99 to 101 degrees. We’re looking at a high for Friday in that range.”

In addition to the heat, Bishop says there’s also a threat of lightning storms. At the moment, the storm forecasts are more likely for the Central Cascades and associated foothills. But along with that comes “a slight chance of thunderstorms in the eastern portion of the Willamette Valley.”

Also happening today, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency for 22 counties, including Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington and others outside the Willamette Valley plain.

“As Oregon faces another high heat event, it’s important that we make available all needed resources to assist every level of government helping Oregonians stay safe and healthy,” Gov. Brown said via press release. “We know that these excessively high temperatures are placing a significant burden on local and Tribal jurisdictions, and that they can also impact critical infrastructure, including utilities and transportation.”

In response to the heat, Multnomah County has opened five daytime cooling shelters—one in North Portland’s Portsmouth neighborhood, one in the central east Eliot neighborhood, two on the far eastside, and one downtown.

The cooling centers are in different locations than during the last heat wave in June. That appears to be an adjustment local officials made to send relief to the areas that heat up most when the mercury rises. At least 71 people died in Multnomah County last month when temperatures soared to 117 degrees.

The shelters in the following locations are open noon-9 pm Thursday-Friday, July 29-30:

  • Charles Jordan Community Center, 9009 N Foss Ave.
  • Matt Dishman Community Center, 77 NE Knott St.
  • Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th Ave.
  • Sunrise Center, 18901 E Burnside St.
  • Multnomah County East Building, 600 NE 8th Ave.

The city of Portland is also opening outdoor misting centers in three eastside parks:

As the Multnomah County Library system continues its weekly reopening schedule, the libraries that are open will extend their hours for today and tomorrow to provide more places to keep cool:

For more advice on what to do when it’s hot outside, the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management has complied a list of resources and advice on everything from recognizing signs of heat stress to caring for animals and plants.

In addition, Oregonians are encouraged to call 211 for information on cooling centers; 211 will be staffed 24/7 to respond to inquiries and requests for assistance.