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Wed Jul 14, 2021, 02:52 AM

Most Heatwave Victims Died Alone with No Air Conditioning, Multnomah County Report Finds

Most of the 54 Multnomah County residents who died from overheating during June’s record-breaking heatwave lived alone without access to air conditioning, according to a report released Tuesday by the county health department. The report adds a new level of detail to much of what the public was already told about the fatalities, while county officials continue work on a more in-depth investigation into the deaths and what agencies could have done to avoid them.

Portland broke high temperature records for three consecutive days during the heatwave, ultimately peaking at 116 degrees on June 28.

As of July 9, the Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office identified 71 suspected hyperthermia—or excessive heat—deaths. Of those deaths, 54 have been formally ruled hyperthermia deaths. The report analyzes the confirmed cases, but the findings are considered preliminary because additional investigation is currently underway. The county will publish a final report when the full investigation is complete.

The majority of deaths occurred in the victim's own residence, more than half of which were multifamily dwellings, like apartment buildings. Of the people who died in multifamily dwellings, 45 percent lived on the third floor or higher.

Read more: https://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2021/07/13/35028680/most-heatwave-victims-died-alone-with-no-air-conditioning-county-report-finds

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