PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Twelve months ago, as temperatures in Portland soared to 117 degrees, 69 people died within 72 hours. As the city rides out another heat wave, KOIN 6 News asked some of the properties where those deaths occurred if they’re now prepared for the heat.
KOIN 6 News talked to residents of an apartment building run by the non-profit Home Forward, where at least one person died during the 2021 heat dome. The residents said some but not all have air conditioning.
KOIN 6 News also reached out to Home Forward, who said in a press release they are doing check-ins, turned common spaces into cooling rooms and are handing out bottled water and cooling towels. The non-profit added they have installed hundreds of AC units within their buildings.
A report from Multnomah County says during the heat dome, seven people died in apartment buildings charged with caring for vulnerable people. Six of those people lived in apartments run by Home Forward, one lived in a building run by Central City Concern.
“Our staff went through a significant amount of mourning for that person that passed away. It was a very sad event for us,” Laura Recko of Central City Concern said. “We received about 700 AC units that we’ll be installing in eight different buildings throughout our portfolio.”
KOIN 6 News also went to the Heights at Columbia Knoll on Northeast Sandy where two people died in the heat dome.
Residents said AC units have been installed in every apartment.