Residents Hunker as Record-Breaking Heat Wave Bakes Region

Saturday offered the highest temperatures Canby has seen in at least a century — and that was just the warm-up.

The mark of 108 degrees the National Weather Service reported at the Portland Internation Airport Saturday broke the area’s all-time record of 107, set July 30, 1965.

The new record is expected to be short-lived, with highs Sunday and Monday predicted to reach up to 112.

NWS Portland on Twitter: “Well, PDX has done it. 108 degrees Fahrenheit at the airport. That breaks the all time high temperature for the airport of 107 degrees Fahrenheit. #orwx #PNWheatwave / Twitter”

Well, PDX has done it. 108 degrees Fahrenheit at the airport. That breaks the all time high temperature for the airport of 107 degrees Fahrenheit. #orwx #PNWheatwave

Unlike Portland, and several other large cities throughout the state, Canby does not have an NWS station that records official temperatures here.

But according to newspaper archives, our city recorded its highest temperatures on July 13, 1935, with citizens reporting that their mercury thermometers ranged from 104 to 107.

The U.S. Customs House in Portland, which was the regional standard before PDX was built, registered a then-record 105.4 degrees that day.

Hundreds flocked to Knights Bridge Park and other areas with river access amid soaring temperatures. Courtesy Chip Van Gorder.

Canbyites have sought to beat the heat in various ways. Some, like Kathleen Hagans Jeskey, are staying in (“Keeping the thermostat at 68 so the house stays at 74 and running every fan we own while sitting directly in front of them,” the retired teacher reported on Facebook).

Others have flocked to the area’s watering holes for a little relief, with the most popular river access points and swimming areas reportedly being at or near capacity pretty much from sunup to sundown.

Safety officials remind those interested in enjoying local waterways to keep children in sight, refrain from excessive alcohol consumption, stay within cellphone service areas and use personal floatation devices or life jackets whenever possible.

The Canby Fire District reviewed river access points for emergency response in advance of this weekend’s heat wave.

A number of local restaurants and other businesses have shortened their hours or temporarily closed altogether, including Wayward Sandwiches and Baker’s Prairie Bakery, so call ahead if you’re looking to avoid cooking.

Others, like the Backstop Bar & Grill and Wild Hare Saloon, are open, though some may have closed their outdoor seating areas due to high temperatures.

Still others, like the Whiskey Hill Store in Hubbard, which is being remodeled, are doing their part to serve their communities, like offering free water and reminding residents to check on their older and more vulnerable neighbors.

Zoar Lutheran Church, which has been open as a cooling shelter as long as the temperature is above 85, was also giving away free box fans Saturday night to those who needed them. Denny’s has also been offering its dining room as a cooling shelter — no purchase necessary.

Canby Fire Chief Jim Davis confirmed Sunday morning that firefighters and EMTs have been “very busy” with medical calls throughout the heat wave. Foruntately, no heat-related deaths or fires have been reported.

The sweltering temperatures bring the risk of heat stroke, symptoms of which include a throbbing headache, confusion, fever, loss of consciousness, elevated pulse and hot, dry skin (i.e., no sweat). If you or someone around you is experiencing a serious medical issue, call 911.

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