Multnomah County and the City of Portland on Sunday, Aug. 7, will offer additional cooling resources, including two daytime cooling centers and extended library hours, for respite from what the National Weather Service is forecasting as a briefer but still blistering heat event.
The National Weather Service on Friday issued a Heat Advisory for most of Multnomah County, beginning at noon Sunday and lasting until 8 p.m. Monday. Temperatures are expected to be hottest on Sunday, rising from the 90s on Saturday to 100 degrees or higher and then cooling later Monday.
Nighttime temperatures are also expected to be cooler, giving people a chance to cool down their homes and bodies. The drier, less humid air this weekend is also expected to help people feel less warm.
In addition, the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning in Multnomah County from 2 p.m. Saturday to 8 p.m. Sunday on the increased chance of fire due to dry, windy conditions. Smoke from Washington wildfires is expected to appear as haze, but is not forecast to cause significant air quality issues.
“We’re relieved that this heat event does not look to be as long or as severe as the last one,’’ said Brendon Haggerty of the Multnomah County Health Department. “We’re watching the weather and smoke carefully, and in addition to being shorter and less intense than last month’s event, our bodies and behavior have acclimated a bit more to the heat.”
The County and City and their community partners have prepared some additional options for people to seek relief during the hottest part of Sunday.
Libraries across Multnomah County are open as cool spaces during their regular hours Sunday. For the most up-to-date list of library locations and hours, go to multcolib.org/hours-and-locations.
Extended hours from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday are being offered at two locations:
Daytime cooling centers available
Two other locations will also offer a chance to cool off Sunday from 2 to 10 p.m. Both sites are pet-friendly and will provide food, water, cooling items and places to rest. Anyone who needs a free ride to a cool space can dial 2-1-1.
- Old Town cooling center (staffed by Do Good Multnomah): 435 N.W. Glisan St., Portland
- Sunrise Center (staffed by Cultivate Initiatives): 18901 E. Burnside, Portland
And the Lloyd Center has extended its hours until 10 p.m. to serve as an additional site where people can come inside and cool off.
COVID-19 is still spreading in our community. To limit the spread of the virus, staff and guests will be required to wear masks in the two cooling centers. Staff will work to accommodate guests who might need assistance with wearing a mask. Masks are available on site.
Other cool spaces
Other options including splash pads and community centers will be open Sunday as usual. Community and arts centers managed by Portland Parks & Recreation allow anyone to enter and cool off, at no charge, during normal facility operating hours.
Please note that weekend hours are limited and many sites are closed on Sundays. Guests who don’t pay an admission fee can congregate in building lobbies and/or any other designated areas in indoor facilities to allow recreational programing to continue.
Find cooling options on Multnomah County’s interactive map: tinyurl.com/coolplacesmultco
Outreach to unsheltered community members
The Joint Office of Homeless Services on Friday, Aug. 5, worked with outreach teams, mutual aid groups and community volunteers to supply them with hot weather gear so they could be ready to reach people living outside before and during the heatwave.
Among the items the Joint Office distributed Friday: nearly 24,000 bottles of water, 2,400 electrolyte packets, nearly 1,000 cooling towels, and roughly 400 refillable bottles and misting bottles.
Air quality and smoke risks
Multnomah County Environmental Health is also monitoring air quality, as the National Weather Service is forecasting that some smoke from wildfires burning in central Washington and parts of Oregon could move into the area over the weekend.
Smoke levels in Multnomah County are not expected to exceed the moderate air quality, but conditions can change quickly depending on fire behavior and weather. Check your local air quality online.
As temperatures rise, rivers and lakes may offer relief from the heat.
For those playing in or around the water, please wear a life jacket. Life jackets may be borrowed for free at many destinations and boat ramps across Multnomah County, including at the M. James Gleason Memorial Boat Ramp near Broughton Beach, Dabney State Park, Blue Lake Park, Oxbow Park and Glenn Otto Park.
Lifeguards are present at Glenn Otto Park. Lifeguards can show visitors the safest place to swim and can also help people select a life jacket that fits best.
Take care of yourself and others
Even in a shorter heat event, officials urge friends and family to check in on people who are older, live alone or don't have air conditioning.
People need breaks from the heat to give their bodies time to recover. Now is the time to invite that person to a movie or the mall, or an air-conditioned restaurant, or spend time in a local library. Offer a ride to a cooling space for anyone who doesn’t have AC at home.
Share this page with updated information on cooling centers, shelters and other cool spaces: multco.us/hot
The Multnomah County Behavioral Health Call Center is also available 24 hours a day to support anyone experiencing distress or to support those helping someone else. That includes responding to heat-related welfare checks, as well as resources and referrals for further support. Just dial 503-988-4888 (or toll-free at 800-716-9769; those who are hearing impaired can dial 7-1-1).
If you see someone about whom you are concerned, call the non-emergency response line at 503-823-3333 and request a welfare check.
If you see a person outside during the heat of the day who looks disoriented or confused, don’t assume that person is intoxicated. Those are also signs of heat stroke, which can be deadly. Symptoms could include increased irritability, worry and stress, stumbling or an appearance of intoxication.
If someone’s life appears to be in danger, call 9-1-1.
Bookmark these links
2-1-1info: Dial 2-1-1 to find a cool space nearest you and to learn about transportation options.
National Weather Service: Check the forecast and plan outdoor activities for the coolest times of day.
Cool places in Multnomah County: Find a library, community center, pool or splash pad near you.
Cool places in Clackamas County: Find cool spaces in Clackamas County.
Cool places in Washington County: Find cool spaces in Washington County.