Multnomah County libraries, malls and other centers are extending their hours to help locals beat the heat.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP FILE PHOTO - In this undated photo, 1-year-old Michael Jordan Jr. cools himself off with a refeshing drink from the Benson Bubblers on the corner of SW 5th Avenue and Alder in downtown Portland.Multnomah County, the city of Portland and some local businesses have extended their hours this week to offer relief from another short bout of extreme heat.

Temperatures in Portland rose to the upper 90s on Wednesday, Aug. 17, according to the National Weather Service. Overnight temperatures Wednesday were high as well, with Thursday morning both warm and uncomfortably muggy.

NWS officials issued a heat advisory for the Portland area that started at noon Wednesday and runs through 10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, with highs in the upper 90s. Overnight temperatures Thursday will dip into the high 60s.

The extreme heat comes just three weeks after Portland experienced a heat wave that brought triple-digit temperatures and broke a record for most consecutive days at or above 95 degrees.

The Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office is investigating 15 heat-related deaths so far this summer, and officials are urging people to check in with older neighbors, people who live alone or do not have air conditioning ahead of the heat wave. They suggest offering to take someone who may be at risk to a cool space.


Multnomah County's library locations will serve as cooling spaces during normal hours. Bottled water will be available at all libraries.

The following five library locations will stay open until 8 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday:

• Belmont: 1038 S.E. César E. Chávez Blvd., Portland

• Gresham: 385 N.W. Miller Ave., Gresham

• Hillsdale: 1525 S.W. Sunset Blvd., Portland

• Hollywood: 4040 N.E. Tillamook St., Portland

• Midland: 805 S.E. 122nd Ave., Portland

The Central Library remains closed for renovations, which began on Aug. 1.

Old Town cooling center to open

Additionally, a daytime cooling center in Portland's Old Town will be open from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 435 N.W. Glisan St.

The cooling center is pet-friendly and will provide food, water, cooling items and places to rest. The building will be staffed by the homeless service provider Do Good Multnomah. Staff and guests at the cooling center will be required to wear masks to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Anyone who needs help finding a cooling space or a ride there is directed to dial 2-1-1.

Other places to keep cool

Lloyd Center mall is extending its hours until 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday to offer cooling space.

Additional cooling options including splash pads and community centers will be available across the county.

Portland Parks & Recreation's community and arts centers will allow anyone to enter at no charge during normal facility hours. Guests who can't pay an admission fee can use the building lobbies or other designated indoor areas.

Homeless outreach

To assist homeless people through the heat, the Joint Office of Homeless Services began working with outreach teams, mutual aid groups and volunteers on Monday, Aug. 15, to distribute cooling resources, officials said. More than 14,100 bottles of water, 1,600 electrolyte packets, 640 cooling towels, 320 refillable bottles and 320 misting bottles have reportedly been distributed so far.

More than 4,000 cooling kits have been provided to at-risk residents so far this summer, officials said. The kits contain cooling towels, hot/cold gel packs, electrolyte packets, ice cube trays, water bottles, misting bottles, and magnets with tips to stay cool. Organizations including Home Forward, Catholic Charities of Oregon, NARA and others have received the kits to distribute.

Want more?

For updates on Multnomah County's cooling resources, to go

Cool places in Washington County can be found here.

Cool places in Clackamas County can be found here.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story contained inaccurate information reported by Multnomah County about extended library hours. The story now reflects the accurate hours.

Max Egener
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