Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury declared a state of emergency for Multnomah County as the region braces for life-threatening freezing temperatures and gusty east winds. The declaration goes into effect today, Tuesday, Feb. 22, through Thursday, Feb. 24. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler also declared a state of emergency for the same time period.
The County, the City and the Joint Office of Homeless Services, and their service provider partners, will open severe winter weather shelters Tuesday night, Feb. 22, 2022, from 8 p.m. to 10 a.m. No one will be turned away. The Joint Office has also activated its cold weather street outreach program, directing providers to find neighbors without shelter and bring them shelter information, gear and supplies.
The current National Weather Service forecast is calling for very cold dry air to push temperatures to 25 degrees this evening, but 20 to 30 mile-per-hour winds from the east will drive the temperatures down further. Windchill is expected to reach 14 degrees by 4 a.m.
The County makes a daily determination of whether shelters will open, using the most up-to-date forecast from the National Weather Service to review whether thresholds will be met. Shelters will continue to operate as long as severe weather thresholds are met. Check back at multco.us/cold for the latest hours, locations and updates as conditions change.
Warming Shelters and Transportation
The Joint Office of Homeless Services operates shelters year-round for people experiencing homelessness. Beyond those year-round and seasonal beds, partners open additional warming shelters and mobilize additional outreach workers and gear distribution on nights when severe weather hits.
The Joint Office, County and City, along with Transition Projects and Cultivate Initiatives, will open severe weather shelters tonight with capacity for up to 360 people. All sites are accessible to people with disabilities. Pets are allowed at all locations:
- Salvation Army, 5325 N Williams Ave., Portland
- Mt. Scott Community Center, 5530 SE 72nd Ave., Portland
- East Portland Community Center, 740 SE 106th Ave., Portland
- Market Street, 120 SE Market St., Portland
- Sunrise Center, 18901 E Burnside St., Portland
Anyone seeking shelter can dial 2-1-1 for information on shelters and to request transportation to a shelter.
TriMet will not turn away anyone traveling to and from warming shelters who cannot afford to pay fare, between 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, through noon Wednesday, Feb. 23. Please let the bus operator know you're going to or from a shelter. Plan your trip to a warming shelter at trimet.org.
Support People Living Outside
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.
Winter weather is especially dangerous for anyone experiencing houselessness, and can also pose a greater risk for older adults and people with disabilities.
Stay Informed and Check on Neighbors
Our emergency managers and Multnomah County Health Officer are advising 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 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/em-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.
TriMet Alerts: Check for winter weather advisories.
Oregon Roads: The Oregon Department of Transportation TripCheck site updates road conditions and streams live roadside video.