Multnomah County, the City of Portland and their service provider partners will open four severe weather shelters at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022 and for as long as conditions require. No one will be turned away. The severe weather shelters are:
- 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
Officials moved to open the shelters after 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. The Weather Service has also issued a wind advisory beginning at 10 p.m. Wednesday that will see gusts of 25 to up to 55 miles per hour, 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 here 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.
The Joint Office of Homeless Services will continue its enhanced crisis street outreach efforts, working with mutual aid groups and its contracted outreach providers to provide cold-weather survival gear and information about severe weather shelters.
In addition, 18 Multnomah County libraries will be open regular hours to offer daytime warming. Check hours and locations here. The County’s new Behavioral Health Resource Center downtown is also serving as a daytime warming center and helping people get to the severe weather shelters.
Check back at multco.us/cold 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.
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.
Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines warned people to take extra care as few are used to the extreme cold and are at increased risk of hypothermia and frostbite.
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.