Excessive heat advisory in effect until 10 pm, cooling centers remain open until Sunday morning

August 14, 2021

This post was updated at 1 p.m. Aug. 14 to include that The Oregon Medical Examiner today determined that the one death in Multnomah County under investigation is not related to the heat.

With an excessive heat advisory in effect until 10 pm tonight, Multnomah County and City of Portland 24-hour Cooling Centers remain open one more night for those seeking a place to cool down.

Commissioner Sharon Meieran visited Kellogg Middle School and worked as a medical volunteer.

Hot temperatures are expected to continue through the day, and temperatures are expected to gradually cool over the weekend. Much cooler temperatures are expected early next week. Smoke is also expected to slowly diminish through the weekend, which should bring cleaner air into the area.

While some relief is expected, residents are urged to practice caution by continuing to monitor themselves for heat illness and having access to a cool space throughout the day. 2-1-1 remains available for transportation assistance, and TriMet will not turn anyone away seeking relief from hot temperatures.

“Several days of high temperatures stresses our bodies,” said Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines. “Everyone should continue to have a plan to stay cool and help others do the same.”

24-hour Cooling Centers open until 9 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 15

Multnomah County and City of Portland are committed to offering 24-hour cooling spaces as long as excessive heat affects the area. The following 24-hour Cooling Centers remain open one more night. 

Multnomah County libraries also remain open for the day. The following sites will be open until 8 pm tonight.

Learn more about cooling centers, transportation, and heat resources at Help for When it’s Hot.

After the excessive heat advisory expires tonight, Multnomah County and City of Portland will begin the demobilization process. Starting Monday, Aug. 16, staff will pack up, inventory and return facilities to normal. Volunteers are needed to aid with demobilization. Visit SignUpGenius to volunteer for a Monday shift.

Multnomah County, City of Portland utilize Wireless Emergency Alert system for heat emergency

Yesterday the City of Portland and Multnomah County sent a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) for severe heat shortly after 10 a.m. The message, delivered in English and Spanish, was sent to every mobile phone in Multnomah County and some phones in surrounding counties.  

This marks the County and City’s first use of the Wireless Emergency Alert system to warn people of hot weather. The National Weather Service frequently utilizes the system for other weather emergencies, including dust storms, extreme wind, flash floods, hurricanes and typhoons, severe thunderstorms, storm surges on the coast, tornadoes and tsunamis.

The County and city of Portland sent two previous Public Alerts regarding dangerous heat on July 28 and on Wednesday, Aug. 11. But those alerts reached a limited number of landlines and people who signed up for Public Alerts

“Our number one priority is saving lives,” said Alice Busch, a City-County Unified Commander. “Heat kills and yet many in our community are unaware of this. We are committed to using every tool available to communicate with and protect those in Multnomah County who are most vulnerable or isolated.”

Read more: City-County send first joint Wireless Emergency Alert on heat

 Friday heat death investigation

The Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Program on Friday also reported it is investigating one possible heat-related death since the latest heat wave began Aug. 11. This post was updated Aug. 14 to say that the Oregon Medical Examiner today determined that the death is not related to the heat. 

The Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s program has no additional heat-related cases at this time.

There were 19 visits for for heat illness through Friday. On a typical summer day we would only see none or one each day. During the June heat dome event, there were 154 visits. Of the 19 visits during this event, the age range of patients is 23 to 90 with a median of 54.

The County will update this information as it becomes available.