Record heat wave bakes Northwest
Madras thermometers shot to 109 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, on Monday, June 28, breaking the previous record of 106 degrees set on Aug. 5, 1998, reached again on July 13, 2002, and a third time July 24, 2006.
The National Weather Service warns of dangerously hot conditions. The excessive heat warning stays in effect through Sunday, July 4 at 8 p.m.
Over the weekend, June 26 and 27, the St. Charles Health System saw six patients for heat-related medical issues.
People in Jefferson County are reaching out to protect the vulnerable from the heat.
Life Lemons Ministries set up a cold-water station at the corner of Southwest Fifth and D streets. They teamed up with Earth2-O, Bi-Mart, Produceville and Rip-Q to provide the cold water. Robert Snow volunteers at the booth. He knew Charitie Lansing, who founded the ministry. She passed in February. "Good things are still happening, thanks to her," says Snow.
The Jefferson County Faith Based Network has set up a cooling shelter at the Madras Free Methodist Church. They provide cool shelter, water and a meal.
"We've had people in here whose cars have broken down. We had a pregnant mom in here," says the agency's executive director Tony Mitchell.
Mitchell feels especially committed to the center after hearing of two deaths in Deschutes County on Sunday.
Sunday, June 27, Bend Police responded to two separate "unattended deaths" both on Hunnell Road, a camping site for many people without homes. Police say neither death was suspicious nor had evidence of criminal activity.
Mitchell considers the likelihood heat played a role in those deaths and wants to protect vulnerable people in Madras from the same fate.
"I just brought in a woman on the edge of heat exhaustion," said Mitchell. "We got a towel and put some ice on her and got her to drink water."
While initially FBN planned to close the shelters each day at 5 p.m., Mitchell may extend the hours.
"Yesterday, it was a blast furnace at 5. We'll decide on a day-to-day basis." The shelter was going to close after Sunday, July 4. Mitchell plans to check with his hosts to see if they can keep the center open longer than that.
Meteorologists expect the temperatures will stay in the 100s the rest of the week, not dropping into the 90s until Sunday the Fourth of July.
If you're a kid, hot weather is fun, as long as you're at the Ethan Stovall Spray Park at Sahalee Park. Kids playing in the water there on Monday didn't think twice about the heat.
Free Methodist Church, 976 S. Adams Drive, Madras
Hours: noon to 5 p.m. daily through Sunday, July 4
The Jefferson County Faith Based Network may extend the shelter's hours.
They will also provide transportation to and from the church. Pick-up is at 11:45 a.m. at the corner of Fourth and Maple streets behind the Sonic Drive-In.
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