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Oregon State

Oregon governor declares heat emergency; 211 helpline active

The Associated Press
The Associated Press
 2021-07-30

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday issued an emergency declaration in 23 counties from Portland to southern Oregon and in central and eastern parts of the state because of heat.

The declaration will free up more resources and activate the Office of Emergency Management to respond to the heatwave, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

“As Oregon faces another high heat event, it’s important that we make available all needed resources to assist every level of government helping Oregonians stay safe and healthy,” Brown said in a statement.

People who need relief from the high temperatures around the Portland metro area can find information on transportation to cooling centers by calling 211 and waiting for the prompt to find hot weather-related resources. The 211 service will keep the prompt for the rest of summer after some confusion and delays during the last heat wave.

Portland and Multnomah County also are sending alerts to people signed up for the PublicAlerts.org system about the dangerous spate of hot weather. Workers also are calling and texting listed phone numbers in the area. The alerts may tell people where to find nearby cooling centers.

Temperatures reached 97 degrees Fahrenheit (36 Celsius) in Portland on Thursday and were expected to to be slightly higher on Friday.

More than 110 people died from heat-related causes in the June heatwave with the majority living in Multnomah County, which includes Portland. Many were elderly and living alone without air conditioning. The temperature in Portland reached 116 F (46.6 C) at one point during three days of record-setting heat.

Cooling centers and other centers including libraries are available for people in all three of Portland’s counties.

Extreme conditions like these are often because of a combination of unusual random, short-term and natural weather patterns heightened by long-term, human-caused climate change.

Scientists have long warned that the weather will get wilder as the world warms. Climate change has made the West much warmer and drier in the past 30 years. Special calculations are needed to determine how much global warming is to blame, if at all, for a single extreme weather event.

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