Multnomah County: Heat deaths double last year
Multnomah County released a report on the health impacts of last year's heat wave as temperatures once again climbed.
The historic heatwave enveloped Portland, the metro region and most of Oregon with high temperatures never before seen in the Pacific Northwest. Twice as many people officially died from heat-related causes then.
Multnomah County released its final report documenting the health impacts from that heat dome on Sunday, June 26, as temperatures approached 100 degrees.
The report said that two-thirds of those who died in the heat wave were men, 79% were seniors 60 and older and that living alone played a major factor.
Of the 72 people who died in Multnomah County, 48 lived alone.
Air conditioning — or the lack of it — was also a key factor: 49 who died had either just a fan or no cooling unit of any kind.
At least one person died in almost every ZIP code of the county, but most of the deaths were concentrated in East Portland and in the downtown core. Those deaths coincided with the "heat islands" in the county, where more heat is trapped by roads and buildings.
Most of the heat-related deaths happened on the hottest day ever recorded in Portland and the next two days, the period of June 28-30. The temperature on June 28, 2021, reached 1116 degrees.
The report can be found here.
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. This is a developing story that will be updated.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.