For immediate release
County, City and partners to open additional 24/7 severe weather shelter at Reynolds High school today
Five shelters will remain open as long as frigid temperatures persist
Multnomah County, the City of Portland and their service provider partners will open a fifth shelter at 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022 and for as long as conditions require. No one will be turned away. The severe weather shelters are:
- Reynolds High School, 1698 SW Cherry Park Rd., Troutdale, OR 97060
- Portsmouth Union: 4775 N. Lombard St., Portland, OR 97203,
- Arbor Lodge: 1952 N. Lombard St., Portland, OR 97217
- Sunrise Center: 18901 E. Burnside St., Portland, OR 97233
- Oregon Convention Center, 960 NE 1st Ave. Portland, OR 97232
For transportation, people should call 2-1-1 or ride TriMet to a warm space. TriMet will not turn away anyone traveling to or from a warm place who cannot afford to pay fare. TriMet asks riders to let their driver know they are headed to a warm place.
State of Emergency declared by Multnomah County, City of Portland
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch, and wind chill advisory for the Portland region beginning at 4 a.m. Thursday that could take temperatures as low as zero degrees. Gusts of 25 to up to 55 miles per hour are expected, with the greatest gusts in East County and hilly areas.
The forecast also calls for a “messy mix” of snow, sleet and freezing rain, with freezing rain lasting until Saturday. Snow will accumulate, but it’s the 1/10 to ¼ inch of predicted ice that is likely to cause the most difficulty.
On Tuesday, Chair Deborah Kafoury and Mayor Ted Wheeler each declared a state of emergency for their jurisdictions to alert the public to the life-threatening temperatures and give the County maximum flexibility to respond.
A map of the severe weather shelter sites is posted on Multnomah County’s Care for When it’s Cold page. All sites will welcome pets and will be accessible to people with disabilities. Free transportation to warming shelters will be available by calling 2-1-1 or accessing TriMet.
When riding transit during extreme weathers, plan extra time and check trimet.org/alerts before traveling, as there may be weather-related delays to service.
Hundreds seek shelter Wednesday night
Hundreds of people sought shelter Wednesday evening with 394 people coming into the warmth at Arbor Lodge, the Sunrise Center, Portsmouth Union and the Oregon Convention Center.
Outreach teams, through the Joint Office of Homeless Services, worked through the night distributing cold-weather survival gear and information about severe weather shelters.
Multnomah County libraries also offered warming relief. Check the library’s locations page for the latest hours, locations and updates as conditions change.
Hospital capacity limited as Crisis Standards of Care still in effect
Everyone coming indoors is also urged to wear masks and wash their hands frequently due to RSV, influenza and COVID-19 now circulating in the community.
Emergency medical calls reached 370 between midnight Tuesday, Dec. 20 and Wednesday, Dec. 21. This is an increase of about 90 calls over what is typical, the Multnomah County Health Department reports. Cold-related calls were also up. A typical winter day also brings one to two calls for hypothermia. There were nine emergency calls for people experiencing hypothermia since midnight Tuesday. EMS reports a high number of people were over age 55 and half were houseless individuals.
Hospitals in the Portland metro area, including Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health, OHSU Health and Providence, are operating under staffing crisis standards of care in response to the high volume of adult and pediatric patients with respiratory viruses — including COVID, influenza and RSV — in addition to the care they provide every day.
People can stay safe by limiting travel, and always dressing for life-threatening weather if they go outside, as any delay in their plans could potentially be dangerous.
Hospitals also request that people with electricity-dependent medical needs make a plan now in the event of a power outage, including visiting libraries or shelters if open and try to avoid using the emergency room or calling 911 unless absolutely necessary.
Support People Living Outside
Winter weather is especially dangerous for anyone experiencing houselessness, and can also pose a greater risk for older adults and people with disabilities.
If you see someone about whom you are concerned during cold weather, such as an individual who is not dressed for the weather conditions, call the non-emergency response line at 503-823-3333 and request a welfare check.
If someone outside is unsheltered and their life appears to be in danger, call 9-1-1.
Stay Informed and Check on Neighbors
Emergency managers and the Multnomah County Health Officer are advising all community members to get ready. Check on your neighbors: Please knock on the door, make the call, let people know if you’re going to the store, and ask how you might help.
Care for When It’s Cold: Up-to-date information from Multnomah County on shelters, safety and support.
211info.org: Up-to-date info on weather conditions, available resources, where to find the nearest available shelter and transportation options. You can also find out where you can donate winter-weather items to those who need it. Sign up for Severe Winter Weather alerts via email or text by going to www.211info.org/winter-and-severe-weather-shelters/#MULTNOMAH.
National Weather Service: Check weather warnings in the Portland Metro area.
Public Alerts: Sign up to get emergency alerts about safety concerns in your area.##