Seattle, Oregon break records as heat wave sparks major safety concerns

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The Pacific Northwest hit triple-digit temperatures on Monday, setting record highs amid days of heatwave, according to the National Weather Service.

A new record was set at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport when temperatures reached 106 degrees, breaking the 104-degree mark set on Sunday. It was the hottest temperature recorded in the city since at least 1945, the Seattle Times reported.

The heat on Monday marks the third day in a row with over 100 degrees. Two weather stations in Washington state – Dallesport and the Sol Duc River – reached 118 degrees, the NWS said. The measured values ​​were preliminary and not yet certified. Relief is expected on Wednesday, when temperatures in Seattle are expected to dip into the 80s.

Temperatures had never been there in a region better known for rain, where June was historically referred to as “junior” because of its cool drizzle. Seattle’s average high temperature in June is about 70 degrees, and less than half of the city’s residents have air conditioning, according to US census data.

The heat forced schools and businesses to close to protect workers and guests, including some places like outdoor pools and ice cream parlors where people are looking for the heat. COVID-19 test sites and mobile vaccination stations were also out of order.

People walk as the sun shines behind the Space Needle in Seattle on Monday. Seattle and other cities broke all heat records at the weekend with temperatures well over 100 degrees. (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren)

The Seattle Parks Department closed a community pool after the air inside got too hot – and left Stanlie James, who had moved from Arizona three weeks ago, to find another place to cool off. She doesn’t have air conditioning in her apartment, she said.

“Part of the reason I moved here was not just to be around my daughter, but also to come in the summer to relax from the Arizona heat,” said James. “And I seem to have brought it with me. So I’m not really thrilled.”

Portland, Oregon hit 115 degrees on Monday, setting a new record high for the third straight day, the Oregonian reported. The new record was taken around 4 p.m. at Portland International Airport

According to Portland General Electric, about 3,000 customers in the greater Portland area were without power on Sunday afternoon. Puget Sound Energy reported 3,400 customers in the greater Seattle area.

In Albany, Oregon, 70 miles south of Portland, the sidewalk hit 171 degrees around 3 p.m., according to a tweet retweeted by the weather service. Salem also hit a record high – the warmest temperature since the city began recording in 1890 at 112 degrees, the newspaper said.

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In Eugene, US track and field tests were suspended on Sunday afternoon and fans were asked to evacuate the stadium because of the extreme heat. The National Weather Service said it reached 110 degrees Eugene, breaking the all-time record of 108 degrees.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.