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Gov. Brown orders state of emergency over heat wave

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Oregon Capital Bureau

Gov. Kate Brown issued a state of emergency Tuesday for most of Oregon “due to extreme high temperatures causing a threat to life, health and infrastructure.”

Temperatures that could range above 100 degrees for the next six days have been forecast across the state.

The order came just over one year from the highest temperatures during the 2021 “heat dome” that set records across the state, with several areas recording highs of up to 117 degrees. Multnomah County recorded 69 heat deaths over the three-day peak.

In August 2021, the Oregon Medical Examiner’s Office released a report that 96 people had died from hyperthermia — excessive heat exposure — during the late June heat dome event.

The order issued by Brown on Tuesday morning covers 25 counties through Sunday, July 31: Columbia, Clackamas, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk,  Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, Washington, Wheeler, and Yamhill counties.

Brown ordered the Oregon Department of Emergency Management to activate the state’s Emergency Coordination Center to provide essential protective measures to local government agencies.

“I encourage everyone to take proactive steps to keep themselves and their families safe, including drinking plenty of fluids, taking advantage of cooling centers, and checking in on neighbors, friends and loved ones,” Brown said in a statement.

Oregonians who do not have air conditioning in their homes should go to cooling stations that state and local governments created this summer to head off a repeat of last year’s health crisis.

To find cooling centers in Oregon, call 211, which will be operating 24/7 during the heat wave, or visit their website.

Additional resources

Cooling Centers (211)

Preventing Heat-related Illnesses (OHA)

Stay Cool and Hydrated (OHA)

Extreme Heat (CDC)

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-related Illness

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