PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Heat islands in Portland — areas with paved and concrete spots that absorb the sun’s rays — send out that heat at a much higher temperature.

A Portland State University professor studies heat islands, showing how neighborhoods can get up to 18 degrees hotter than the rest of the city.

People in the Portland-metro area say that air conditioning is the only way to beat this heat.

One Gresham woman told KOIN 6 News that she tries to keep cool by sitting in the shade on her front porch because her air conditioner isn’t working well. She said she applied to get a new air conditioner two weeks ago through the nonprofit African American Alliance for Homeownership, but said she never heard back from them.

KOIN 6 News went to the organization’s website which said the heat response program was temporarily paused on Monday due to the high volume of applications.

The woman says she suffers from a heart condition and has three kids in the house.

“It’s frustrating because there’s a lot of people with no air conditioners,” she said. “I have heart issues so I have to try and stay as cool as I can … I can get dehydrated (and) pass out. I have to drink a lot of water already because of my medication.”