Heat Kills One, River Another as Portland Sizzles

Swimmers flock to the river when temperatures soar, as they are now.

Authorities reported the first possible death from overheating in Multnomah County this afternoon amid soaring temperatures.

County health officials released no details about the death, other than that it occurred Monday and is being investigated for a connection to the heat wave.

Meanwhile, a man drowned in the Sandy River today in what has become a seasonal tragedy as more frequent heat waves drive people to seek the Sandy’s cold waters for relief.

The Multnomah County sheriff said deputies responded to a report of an unresponsive person in the river near Oxbow Park at 2:40 pm. They fanned out across the riverbank. Firefighters from Gresham launched a rescue raft and located the adult male. Paramedics declared him dead at the scene.

The sheriff didn’t release the man’s name.

Through June 21, there had been seven drownings in three years on the Sandy, OPB reported last month. Temperatures touched a record 102 degrees at Portland International Airport yesterday, and topped out at 97 degrees today. The heat wave is expected to last through the weekend as a high pressure system remains in place over the region.

Yesterday, divers from the Lake Oswego Fire Department located the body of a missing swimmer in Henry Hagg Lake. The Washington County Medical Examiner’s Office responded to the scene to conduct its investigation and will determine the cause of death.

Investigators said there is no initial indication that foul play was involved in the swimmer’s death.

The swimmer’s name and age will be released once his family has been notified.