At least 6 dead in Oregon as temperature records fall for 5th day

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Cities across the state broke daily heat records Tuesday as Oregon sweated through the fifth day of a deadly heat wave.

According to the National Weather Service in Portland, cities from Eugene to Vancouver hit preliminary daily records Tuesday, with Portland reaching 103 degrees and Eugene and Salem reaching 105 degrees.

And temperatures may go even higher, said David Bishop, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Portland, on Tuesday evening.

“As we saw yesterday, even after we issued the preliminary records, quite a few places warmed up by a degree or two,” Bishop said.

Tuesday’s 103 degrees is the highest temperature Portland has reached so far during the heat wave that began on Fourth of July.

The previous record at Portland International Airport for July 9 was 96 degrees, set in 1985.

Officials report that at least six people across the state have died from suspected heat-related causes since Friday.


The latest to die was a 67-year-old woman in Northeast Portland, the Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office said. Her death was reported to authorities on Monday.

Since Friday, four others have died in Multnomah County of suspected heat-related causes: an 87-year-old man in Northeast Portland, a 33-year-old Clackamas County man who died at a Portland hospital, a 64-year-old man who died in Southeast Portland and a 75-year-old man who died in Southeast Portland.

The county did not say if they were found in their residences or if they had access to air conditioning.

The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed another suspected heat-related death in Coos County: a 33-year-old man. The office released no other details.

[Tourists still flock to Death Valley amid searing heat wave blamed for deaths]

In 2021, a heat dome killed some 100 Oregonians, including 69 in Multnomah County. Eight people died of overheating in 2022 in Multnomah County and three are suspected to have died due to heat last year. Most of those who died in previous years were white men who were housed and had no air conditioning, county officials said.

While the high temperatures broke records, overnight lows were substantially higher than normal, making it even more difficult for people to cool down.

“Normal overnight temperatures are right around 58,” Bishop said, but noted during the heat wave, “they’ve been in the low to upper 60s.”

Cooling centers remained open in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties on Tuesday.

Oregonians should get some relief Wednesday.

“We’re forecasting a pretty decent pattern change,” Bishop said, “with highs getting down into the low 90s and upper 80s starting tomorrow and continuing through the weekend.”

While it will be cooler, it won’t be that cool.

“Still be weary,” Bishop added. “It’s still going to be warm through the remainder of the week. Keep an eye on things. Keep an eye on your neighbors.”