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While area residents find refuge in the Tualatin River, CERT volunteers help out at Tigard cooling center.

As temperatures soared over the weekend and into Monday, both the cities of Tigard and Tualatin offered relief from the heat as best they could by opening cooling centers. Others sought refuge in the water — specifically in the Tualatin River, which runs along Tigard's Cook Park.

A cooling center was set up at Tualatin's Juanita Pohl Center, which remained open over the weekend for those trying to escape the heat.

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Barkley Hedenger, left, watches as her friend,  Laura Doneganon, attempt a headstand on her paddle board on the Tualatin River at Cook Park on Monday.The center averaged between eight to 10 people who sought respite from the high temperatures on Saturday and Sunday, a number that jumped to as many as 12 on Monday, according to Sara Shepherd, the center's supervisor.

"They were very thankful to be able to get out of the heat," she said of those who took advantage of getting out of the record-high temperatures.

Over in Tigard, the Tigard Public Library's community room started off as a cooling center on Saturday, thanks to the efforts of the city's Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT. Members there answered questions and handed out bottles of water.

"Unfortunately, the HVAC system could not keep the room cool as we approached the high heat of the day," said Carin Grover, Tigard CERT program manager. "Though we stayed on hand 'til 8 p.m. in case folks needed a cold bottle of water or the restrooms."PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Mac Sedwick,left, and Aven Thornton, both 12, splash water on each other in the Tualatin River from Cook Park.

As a result, the cooling center was moved to Tigard City Hall on Sunday and Monday.

In all, Grover said 13 CERT members volunteered to help out over the weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, there were an estimated 15 residents each day at the cooling shelters.

"Some stayed most of the day; others stayed for a few hours," Grover said Monday. "We currently have 10 happy campers at the cooling center today."PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Tigard CERT member Fred Field-Eaton asks Nancy Budrow if she needs more water while she uses the cooling center at Tigard City Hall on Monday.

One of those was Nancy Budrow, who was busy writing letteers to family and a long-time friend.

"I'm delighted with the city that they're treating me like this. I've never had air-conditioning because I thought I would never need it," said Budrow.

CERT, a nonprofit organization educates volunteers on disaster preparedness, training them in basic disaster response skills. That includes fire safety, light search and rescue, disaster and medical operations and team organization, said Grover. It receives some funding from the city with a contract to offer classes and training as well as helping out at city events and aiding in city emergencies and disasters.PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Kids play in the Tualatin River at Cook Park on Monday.

Meanwhile, those in canoes and paddleboards took advantage of access to the Tualatin River in Cook Park while others swam there.


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