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Millions remain under heat warning as extreme temps grip Northwest

Canada and US cities in the Northwest have reported their hottest temperatures on record, and more than 52 million people are under a heat warning or advisory from coast to coast. CNN's Jason Carroll reports.

Posted: Jun 30, 2021 1:07 PM


The extreme heat wave in the Northwest is beginning to subside in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, but much of the West will continue to deal with baking temperatures as millions remain under heat alerts.

Canada and US cities in the Northwest have reported their hottest temperatures on record. More than 52 million people are under a heat warning or advisory from coast to coast.

Three potential deaths associated with heat-related illness were reported Sunday and Monday, according to Washington Department of Health spokesman Cory Portner.

While temperatures are likely to let up in the Northeast by Wednesday's end, the heat is expected to last in the Northwest well into mid-July, CNN's meteorologist Michael Guy predicted.

"The Northeast will continue to be hot (Wednesday), before a cold front drops temperatures, but also brings the risk for severe storms this afternoon and evening," Guy said.

Portland set an all-time, record-high temperature three days in a row, topping out at 116 degrees on Monday. Seattle hit 108 degrees, breaking the all-time record it set just a day earlier.

Across the border, Lytton, British Columbia, hit 121 degrees on Tuesday -- the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada. The record was broken on Sunday and then again on Monday.

Kristina Dahl, a senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, says the heat wave is "unprecedented."

"We saw heat records over the weekend only to be broken again the next day," Dahl told CNN, "particularly for a part of the country where this type of heat does not happen very often."

Multiple experts, including Pennsylvania State University's climate scientist Michael E. Mann, have blamed one thing for the soaring temperatures -- climate change.

"You warm up the planet, you're going to see an increased incidence of heat extremes," Mann told CNN.

Heat blamed for dozens of deaths and even more emergency room visits

At least 676 people in Washington state visited emergency departments for heat-related symptoms from Friday through Sunday -- before the heat wave hit its peak.

On Monday alone, there were 688 heat-related emergency department visits, according to Portner, who said the state had recorded at least 1,384 hospital visits related to the heat since the weekend.

In addition to the three potential deaths connected to heat-related illnesses, Portner said officials were looking into one potential death associated with submersion and drowning.

King County, which is home to Seattle, had 40 emergency department visits for heat-related illness on Saturday and 91 on Sunday, according to Gabriel Spitzer, communications specialist for Public Health Seattle & King County.

On Monday, there were 223 emergency department visits for heat-related illness among King County residents, according to Spitzer.

The eastern Washington city of Spokane hit 109 degrees, breaking the previous record of 108 degrees set on August 4, 1961, according to National Weather Service Spokane.

The city of Wenatchee, Washington, broke an all-time heat record, reaching 114 degrees. And Omak, Washington, hit 117 degrees, shattering the previous record of 114 degrees set on July 4, 1928.

Volunteers with the United Farm Workers in Prosser, Washington, distributed water and Gatorade in the cherry fields, according to the UFW Facebook page.

The high in Prosser reached 113 degrees on Tuesday.

In Oregon, a total of 506 heat-related visits to emergency departments and urgent care centers were reported by the state's health authority. At least 251 visits occurred on Monday alone, when temperatures were highest.

In the Portland area, the 97 emergency department and urgent care clinic visits for heat illness is nearly the same number of cases they would expect to see all summer, according to Multnomah County communications director Julie Sullivan-Springhetti.

"The record breaking heat also broke records for calls for help. Emergency calls, visits to the emergency rooms, and calls for people and pets reached all-time highs," Sullivan-Springhetti said in an email to CNN.

Along the West Coast, more than 20 million people were under a heat warning or advisory, from the Canadian border to the Mexican border.

Meanwhile, more than 230 deaths have been reported in British Columbia since Friday as a historic heat wave brought record-high temperatures there, officials said Tuesday.

"Since the onset of the heat wave late last week, the BC Coroners Service has experienced a significant increase in deaths reported where it is suspected that extreme heat has been contributory," Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe said in a statement.

In Vancouver, officers have responded to more than 65 sudden deaths since the heat wave began on Friday, prompting the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to issue a statement about a "concerning increase in sudden deaths amid the heat wave."

Royal Canadian Mounted Police responded to 35 sudden deaths in Surrey, British Columbia, since Monday, media relations officer Cst. Sarbjit K. Sangha told CNN.

"While the causes of death has not yet been determined in each of these cases, we can confirm that Surrey RCMP is responding to a higher than usual number of deaths since the beginning of the extreme weather conditions," Sangha said.

In the nearby city of Burnaby, police responded to more than 25 sudden death calls in a 24-hour period since Monday, with heat believed to be a contributing factor in the majority of the deaths, according to a release from RCMP.

"We are seeing this weather can be deadly for vulnerable members of our community, especially the elderly and those with underlying health issues. It is imperative we check on one another during this extreme heat," Cpl. Mike Kalanj with Burnaby RCMP said.

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Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 305560

Reported Deaths: 3536
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah50387640
Washington34277272
Marion31825388
Clackamas25971268
Lane23275244
Jackson20487243
Deschutes1610599
Umatilla12424123
Douglas10459183
Linn1001586
Josephine8418162
Yamhill718196
Klamath625292
Polk607669
Malheur468267
Benton447624
Coos398169
Columbia314637
Jefferson308146
Lincoln268329
Union262236
Wasco231939
Crook207837
Clatsop204525
Tillamook177023
Baker166919
Morrow165621
Curry164917
Hood River159335
Grant7528
Harney74813
Lake6478
Wallowa48910
Gilliam1334
Sherman1243
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

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Cases: 4506148

Reported Deaths: 67482
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Los Angeles143707325748
San Diego3469343983
San Bernardino3385855465
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Orange3127365326
Sacramento1450512052
Santa Clara1390161828
Kern1332821510
Fresno1231511856
Alameda1125311322
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Contra Costa92822908
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Stanislaus794201210
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San Mateo50602603
San Francisco48998603
Monterey46684558
Solano43194307
Santa Barbara40783495
Sonoma38812372
Merced37430526
Placer32910350
Imperial30845753
Kings27955278
San Luis Obispo26845304
Madera19800258
Santa Cruz18965210
Yolo18044239
Shasta17563274
Butte17516226
Marin16584242
El Dorado14247123
Sutter12670149
Napa1207091
Yuba892861
Nevada805685
Humboldt798482
Tehama714380
San Benito692667
Mendocino671571
Lassen634127
Tuolumne595193
Lake584583
Amador479057
Siskiyou344341
Calaveras328066
Del Norte325232
Glenn304530
Colusa275418
Inyo160539
Mono14615
Plumas11486
Mariposa94212
Trinity69210
Modoc6278
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Unassigned1030
Alpine980
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