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Cold Weather Brings State of Emergency 

The summer of 2021 brought record-breaking heat. Now the year ends with "dangerously cold" temperatures

Winter in Central Oregon brings snow and ice and wind—but typically, the temperatures in this part of the country trend higher than those in the Midwest and eastern seaboard. Not so this week, when an Arctic air mass brought low temperatures that are expected to last through the weekend. High temperatures in the parts of Oregon and Washington east of the Cascades were expected to stay around or above 20 degrees Fahrenheit through Saturday morning, the National Weather Service reported Dec. 26, with lows in the single-digit range. Wind chills at night were expected to range from the single digits to 10 below zero, the NWS reported. With the cold temperatures in the region, places that don't see excess amounts of snow in the wintertime, including Portland and the Willamette Valley, also saw snow accumulating.

"With these very cold temperatures, frost bite and hypothermia will occur much faster," NWS advised. "If outdoors, remember to dress in layers and cover exposed skin. Uncovered pipes will be susceptible to freezing and bursting." Extreme-cold temperatures are expected to remain through Thursday, when "a slow moderating trend" is expected to begin, with more wintry weather continuing through Saturday.

As winter 2021 gives way to winter 2022, heed the weather reports and stay warm. - NICOLE VULCAN
  • Nicole Vulcan
  • As winter 2021 gives way to winter 2022, heed the weather reports and stay warm.

A state of emergency

With the cold temperatures looming, on Dec. 23, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency for the entire state through Jan. 3.

"Our state has experienced a number of climate-related emergencies this year, and with another coming, I urge all Oregonians to make a plan with your family now and be prepared," said Gov. Brown. "I am directing state agencies to work proactively with local emergency management partners to coordinate on communications for emergency services, such as warming centers. Winter storms mean increased risk for those traveling as well as those staying home for the holidays. Check on your neighbors and loved ones when you can do so safely. If road conditions worsen, please help our first responders by staying home when possible."

A state of emergency allows the Oregon Office of Emergency Management to activate additional resources from the Oregon National Guard, the Oregon State Police and other agencies to provide help if necessary.

About The Author

Nicole Vulcan

Nicole Vulcan has been editor of the Source since 2016. While the pandemic reduced "hobbies" to "aspirations," you can mostly find her raising chickens, walking dogs, riding all the bikes and attempting to turn a high desert scrap of land into a permaculture oasis. (Progress: slow.)
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