Five Things to Know About the Portlanders Who Died During Last June’s Heat Wave

Only 10 of the 69 who died had air conditioning; only three of the 10 had working air conditioning.

One year ago this week, 69 Multnomah County residents died because of a “heat dome” that broiled the city to 116 degrees Fahrenheit and left MAX trains inoperable, streets buckling, and Portlanders seeking refuge wherever possible—sometimes to no avail.

Last Sunday, even as temperatures rose to a toasty if bearable 99 degrees in Portland, Multnomah County released its analysis of those deaths.

Here’s five newly released numbers about who died, where and how:

6: The number of people who died in buildings operated by Home Forward, Portland’s housing authority. Days after WW asked about one of those people, a woman named Brenda who lived in a downtown Home Forward high-rise, Home Forward leaders confirmed it to news media. They had previously denied the death.

78%: The percentage of victims above age 60. Most were men.

48: The number of people who died living alone rather than in single-family homes, meaning isolation played an outsized role in their deaths.

42: The number of deaths in ZIP codes with the two highest heat indexes—meaning they are significantly hotter than other areas of the city on any given day.

10: The number of the 69 deceased who were confirmed to have had air conditioning in their units. (Seven of the 10 didn’t have their AC units plugged in or they weren’t working.) The county said lack of air conditioning was a “key driver” in most deaths during the heat dome.