Storm Shelters Opened in Multnomah County as County Declares State of Emergency!

By Roze 4 Min Read

The National Weather Service is predicting that the Portland area might receive up to three inches of snow overnight, prompting Multnomah County to declare a state of emergency on Wednesday.

In addition to an existing all-year shelter that now has a restricted number of severe weather beds, the county has also opened four new shelters just for bad weather.

Starting at 8 p.m., the extra 480 beds for extreme weather will be made available. On Wednesday, we will be open till 10 a.m. Wednesday, February 15th.

Out of an abundance of caution, the county is also prepared to keep shelters open Thursday as conditions warrant. “If this ends up being a rain event, we’re likely going to see shelters close tomorrow morning,” said Chris Voss, Multnomah County emergency management director.

“If we see a worst-case scenario with four to six inches of snow on the ground overnight, then likely you’ll see them open probably through at least tomorrow as well. It all depends on what we see on the ground.”

Multnomah County Declares State of Emergency, Opens Severe Weather Shelters

The four shelters opening at 8 p.m. Wednesday are:

  • Cook Plaza: 19241 SE Stark St, Gresham
  • Division Place: 323 SE Division Place, Portland
  • Imago Dei Church: 1302 SE Ankeny St, Portland
  • Powell Shelter: 7332 SE Powell Blvd, Portland

The Market Street Shelter, which is open all year, is also offering a small number of beds for extreme weather. People are asked to phone 211 first because there is limited availability.

Critics said the county should have kept the shelters open during the January ice storm even though the weather was still dangerously cold and icy. Voss claimed that they improved their staffing and contingency planning for this storm based on what they learned from that occurrence. In case it is required, the plans incorporate staffing into Saturday morning.

“We hope we’re not here Saturday morning, but we don’t want to be in a position where we don’t have things staffed just in case that forecast doesn’t manifest itself and we find ourselves in a situation where the conditions are worse than what we expected them to be,” he said.

When the following weather conditions are predicted to last for four hours or more between 8 p.m. and the shelters are opened, the county takes the decision. plus seven in the morning.

  • 25 degrees or below
  • An inch of snow or more
  • 32 degrees with an inch of rain or more overnight

Shelters may remain open under additional criteria specified by the county’s chief operating officer. Free rides to shelters are available through TriMet; just dial 211 to make a reservation.

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