Multnomah County and the City of Portland on Sunday, Aug. 7, will activate additional cooling resources – including a daytime cooling center and extended library hours – in response to National Weather Service forecasts showing a scorching but short heatwave headed for the region this weekend.
The National Weather Service on Friday issued a Heat Advisory for most of Multnomah County, beginning at noon on Sunday and lasting until 8 p.m. Monday.
Crucially, nighttime temperatures are expected to be cooler, giving people a chance to cool down their homes and bodies. And the air this weekend is expected to be less humid, also helping people feel less warm.
Libraries across Multnomah County will also be available 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.
Two libraries will offer extended hours, opening from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Central Library downtown will not be open, because of a long-scheduled renovation project that began Aug. 1.
To support people who might have relied on the downtown library, a daytime cooling center, staffed by Do Good Multnomah, will open 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday in Old Town at 435 N.W. Glisan St. The Old Town cooling center is pet-friendly and will provide food, water, cooling items and places to rest.
To limit the spread of COVID-19, staff and guests will be required to wear masks. Staff will work to accommodate guests who might need assistance with wearing a mask. Masks available onsite.
The County and City are preparing other options if they are needed.
Other community cooling spaces will be available this weekend. Find them on on our 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 as of 3 p.m. Friday: 23,760 bottles of water, 2,300 electrolyte packets, 1,104 cooling towels, 460 refillable bottles and 460 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.