- Title: U.S. Pacific Northwest swelters in heat wave
- Date: 26th June 2021
- Summary: PORTLAND OREGON, UNITED STATES (JUNE 26, 2021) (REUTERS) MAN WITH POPSICLE CART IN PARK WOMAN EATING POPSICLE WOMAN SITTING IN PARK (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN IN PARK SAYING: "Sitting in the shade enjoying the nice coolness of the ground and the grass." (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED MAN IN PARK SAYING: "When we traveled from Oakland, California there was supposed to be a heat wave, the four of us, we thought because Portland is in the North West it would be nice and cool, and we get here and it is so hot, and the weather back at home is nice and cool." (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED CHILD IN PARK SAYING: "Irony" MAN AND BOY SEATED IN PARK WIDE SHOT OF PEOPLE COOLING OFF IN SPRINKLERS WOMAN ON SWING MAN WITH POPSICLE CART IN PARK
- Embargoed: 10th July 2021 22:25
- Keywords: Portland excessive heat warning historic heat wave soaring temperatures
- Location: PORTLAND, OREGON, UNITED STATES
- City: PORTLAND, OREGON, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Environment,Temperature,United States
- Reuters ID: LVA001EJ1FZUV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A historic heat wave baked the U.S. Pacific Northwest where temperatures pushed into the triple digits on Saturday (June 26) as local officials warned residents to take precautions while power companies asked users to converse energy.
Seeking relief in a park in Portland, Oregon a family that traveled from California was hoping to escape the heat. "When we traveled from Oakland, California there was supposed to be a heat wave," the man told Reuters. "We thought because Portland is in the North West it would be nice and cool, and we get here and it is so hot, and the weather back at home is nice and cool," he said.
A child with him summed up the situation with one word: "Irony."
All of Washington and Oregon and parts of Idaho, Wyoming and California were under an excessive heat warning as temperatures were to soar 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit above average throughout the region during the weekend and through next week, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.
Across the region, dozens of daily record high temperatures are expected to be set, with monthly and even all-time records in jeopardy of falling, the service said.
In Seattle, temperatures were to reach 98 Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius) on Saturday and an all-time, record-breaking 106 degrees on Monday. Officials there told the city's 725,000 residents to hydrate, keep blinds closed, use fans and to go to a city cooling centers if needed.
Officials in Multnomah County, Oregon, which encompasses the state's largest city of Portland, warned that highs well above 100 degrees could cause public transportation delays, strain emergency medical services and cause power outages.
On a short video posted online, the county's health officer Dr. Jennifer Vines urged residents to go to a cooling center if they do not have air conditioning, warning that the area is in for "life-threatening" heat.
Pacific Power, which serves 10 states, said in a statement that it did not anticipate heat-related service interruptions but asked customers to use less energy during the heat wave.
Portland General Electric told the Oregonian that it will have about 120 crews working Saturday and Sunday to respond to any outages.
"In past weather comparable to what we're expecting to see, our system performed as designed," PGE spokesperson John Farmer told the newspaper.
The NWS also warned of that the dry and breezy conditions could also lead to elevated fire weather concerns through early next week.
The weather service was also expected to issue new red flag warnings in California and elsewhere to advise that the brutal conditions raise the risk of wildfires.
Wildfires scorched more than 6,500 square miles (17,000 square km) of land in 2020, destroying hundreds of Californian homes during a particularly fierce fire season.
(Production: Deborah Lutterbeck)
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