The Latest: Utility companies, TriMet on disruptions

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Information for Monday, June 28, 2021

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — People are still trying to find ways to beat the heat this Monday as a record-breaking heatwave continues rolling through the Pacific Northwest.

Below is a running list of cancellations, adjusted operating hours and other ways businesses and organizations are preparing for the heatwave hitting the area this weekend:

5:30 p.m. — PGE: System ‘is designed to stand up’ to extreme heat

PGE spokesperson John Farmer reports the grid is doing very well in the extreme temps, since the system “is designed to stand up to these sorts of things and it’s performing the way we expected it to.”

Portland General Electric has seen a few thousand outages amid the ongoing excessive heat over the weekend “but nothing outside of the ordinary.”

PGE has extra crews in the field to address outages as they happen during this extreme heat event. However, Farmer added there are things customers can do now to help conserve power until temps become less extreme.

“What we recommend right now is saving things like doing the dishes and running the dishwasher or taking a shower or running laundry — do that late at night, right before you’re about to go to bed” in order to avoid peak time usage, he said.

4:45 p.m. — TriMet on service disruption

Tyler Graf with TriMet talks about the transportation agency’s decision to pause trips on the MAX and Portland Streetcar lines during the dangerous heatwave on Sunday and Monday, with operations expected to resume on Tuesday.

He said the record-shattering temperatures in the region have been placing a strain on the entire system.

“The MAX system is designed with our region’s weather in mind, so it can handle temperatures of up to 110 degrees,” he said.

As the temperatures began climbing past that threshold on Sunday, the strain on the system became greater, “and with everybody’s safety in mind, we decided to suspend MAX service until things begin to cool down,” he said.

Graf said it’s still the plan to resume MAX and Streetcar service tomorrow at its usual start time but warns there could still be delays.

4:15 — Pacific Power on utility usage

Pacific Power says they’re seeing some outages as a result of the extreme heat in the region. Drew Hanson, a spokesperson for Pacific Power, told KOIN 6 News the utility company had about 600 customers in Portland and 1,000 customers in Medford without power as of 4 p.m. Monday.

“From a power supply perspective, we’re not anticipating any disruption at a supply level,” he said.

Hanson also spoke about some of the safety measures power crews are taking in this heatwave as they restore power to customers.

4 p.m. — Camas-Washougal ban fireworks

Both Camas and Washougal banned setting off fireworks under an emergency order related to the high fire risk. The sale of fireworks is still allowed.

“This was a very difficult decision to make, but in consideration of the elevated fire danger, it was deemed the only decision possible to ensure the safety of our neighborhoods, communities, and green spaces,” said Chief Swinhart. “The threat of fireworks causing a fire in these extreme conditions is too high to allow the use of fireworks this July 4th.”

10:30 a.m. — Some Clark Co. residents asked to limit water usage

The Clark Public Utilities Department has asked water utility customers in Hockinson, from the area south of Allworth Road, east of 167th Avenue down to SR 500, to limit their water consumption to “only the necessities.”

This request is an attempt to preserve the county’s water availability in the midst of the heatwave. CPUD asks customers to not use water for recreation purposes or to water gardens or lawns. Personal consumption is, of course, still allowed.

9:30 a.m. — 211Info stats on the heatwave

Officials with 211Info released the number of contacts regarding the extreme heat this weekend. By Sunday night, there had been 310 phone calls for extreme heat cooling centers, more than 1,800 website and mobile app searches for extreme heat cooling centers and 56 rides arranged in Multnomah County to cooling center sites.

8:00 a.m. — Oregon Humane Society closes for day

The Oregon Humane Society announced it would close its doors to the public for Monday, June 28 amid the record-shattering heatwave. Shelter animals are being cared for and are safe and cool, according to OHS, and all appointments are being rescheduled. OHS is also reminding pet owners to take extra care during the heatwave.

7:00 a.m. — Portland outdoor pools close

Portland Parks & Recreation has closed all outdoor public pools for Monday. The department said they understand this is disappointing news, but they are closing the pools to protect staff and guests from the severe heat. Pools are expected to reopen on Tuesday.

The department released a statement, saying the decision was made after several lifeguards experienced heat-related illnesses — including one that required a 911 call — on Sunday.

Splash pads and indoor pools remain open. For more information, visit the Portland Parks & Rec website.

6:30 a.m. — Clackamas Community College

Clackamas Community College is closed Monday due to the extreme heat. Visit their website for more information.

Sunday — TriMet alerts

Through Monday, June 28, all MAX Lines/WES Commuter Rail may be delayed when temperatures are over 90. For temperatures over 105, WES Commuter Rail will be served by shuttle buses. Please plan ahead if traveling during this heatwave. 

TriMet Alerts

Oregon State Parks

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is reminding everyone to be safe, be prepared, stay hydrated and follow campfire restrictions as we hit record-high temperatures.

“Plan to arrive early, and pass by if the parking lot is full,” said OPRD spokesperson Chris Havel. “Have a plan B in case the destination you chose is at capacity.” Oregon State Parks

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