Seattle’s inaugural shelter in a Pacific Northwest forecast of freezing temperatures with snow and ice in some places, while the governor of Oregon and the city of Portland declared a state of emergency.
Seattle city leaders said Thursday that the city would open two severe weather shelters in the evening from Saturday through at least Wednesday. Shelter – in the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall and Compass Housing Alliance – will open each day at 7 p.m.
National Weather Service meteorologist Reed Wolcott in Seattle said in a news conference with Mayor Jenny Durkan on Thursday that the main concern is cold temperatures in the region, with daytime highs set to freezing and overnight lows next week. Struggling to reach that can drop to single digits.
“This is a rare occurrence,” Wolcott said. “Many of us at the Weather Service in Seattle have seen forecast data like this.”
Forecasters have said measurable snow is also possible in the Seattle and Portland areas over the weekend.
“Very cold temperatures will affect the homeless, pets and vulnerable populations without adequate access to heating,” the National Weather Service said Thursday.
Durkan urged people to stay home if possible, check on neighbors and pets, and help keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued a state of emergency declaration Thursday evening to be in effect until January 3, saying expected snowfall and sustained temperatures below freezing could result in significant transportation failures and disruptions to power and communications infrastructure. Is.
Her announcement authorizes the Oregon Office of Emergency Management to activate state resources, and to use personnel, equipment, and facilities from other state agencies to respond to weather emergencies.
Earlier on Thursday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County President Deborah Kafori also declared a state of emergency to continue during the cold snap lasting the expected number of days, KOIN-TV reported.
“This will give us maximum ability to plan, contract and seek additional resources on what could be a very long cold snap for the new year,” Kafouri said at a news conference on Thursday.
Officials said five severe weather shelters will also open around Portland and Multnomah County starting Saturday.
“Our state has experienced several climate-related emergencies this year, and with another one to come, I urge all Oregonians to make a plan with their families and be prepared,” Brown said in a news release. ”