Local News That Matters

Salem-Keizer cancels summer school programs due to heat

3 months ago

Thousands in Marion County without power Monday evening, PGE reports

About 3,400 households and businesses in Marion County were without power Monday evening during an historic heat wave.

Portland General Electric reported multiple outages in ZIP codes 97302 and 97306, both in south Salem. The outages began just before 5 p.m. Monday.

The utility also reported two smaller outages in Polk County Monday evening affecting 79 customers. Power for those households will be back on by 7:30 p.m., according to the utility website.

By 9 p.m. Monday, most Salem-area households had power back on, the utility's website showed.

The outages are heat related, PGE spokesman John Farmer said.

"We’ve seen unprecedented temperatures these past few days, and we know that high demand strains electrical equipment in our system, which can lead to power outages. The other factor is the extreme heat itself, which places an additional strain on our equipment," Farmer said in an email.

He said PGE had about 350 people working in the field Monday to restore power and make sure equipment was operating during peak demand.

Salem recorded its highest-ever temperature Monday afternoon at 117 degrees.

-Rachel Alexander

3 months ago

At 117 degrees, Salem has its hottest day ever

 Ice was sold out at a west Salem store Monday morning as Salem braced for record heat. City residents reported being unable to find ice during the third day in a row of triple-digit Salem temperatures. (Saphara Harrell/Salem Reporter)

Salem saw its hottest day in recorded history on Monday. 

As of 2:10 p.m. Oregon's capital city saw temperatures of 117 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. Monday’s high temperature broke the previous record of 112 degrees seen just a day earlier. 

The last time temperatures in Salem came close to being this high was nearly 80 years ago, according to National Weather service records that date back to the 1890s. Salem saw 108 degree temperatures on Aug. 9, 1891, July 15, 1941, and July 23, 1927. 

A pepper plan wilts in the heat as Salem temperatures climbed to 116 degrees the afternoon of Monday, June 28 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter) 

However, cooler weather is on the way. In Corvallis, temperatures have dropped to 89 degrees after cool ocean air blew over the city just south of Salem, the National Weather Service said on Twitter.

According to the service’s forecast, Salem could see a low of 62 degrees tonight. Tuesday has a high of 91 degrees and 88 degrees for Wednesday. 

-Jake Thomas

3 months ago

Two swimmers in the Willamette River remain missing after hot weekend

People cool off in the Willamette River at Wallace Marine Park on Saturday, June 26, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Local search crews are looking for two swimmers that went missing over the unusually hot weekend. 

Marine patrol deputies from the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched on Saturday at around 7 p.m. in response to a report of a missing swimmer on the Willamette River near the Wheatland Ferry. 

According to a press release, deputies learned that the swimmer was last seen struggling in the water off of the Marion County river bank. The missing swimmer was identified by relatives as Nasiruddin Shaik, 37, of Salem. 

Law enforcement, fire and rescue personnel, as well as volunteers, searched the waterway and riverbank using multiple boats and a helicopter. The search was suspended at about 10 p.m. until the following morning, according to the sheriff’s office. 

While out searching that evening, Yamhill County Deputy Robert VandeBergh and Marine Safety Officer Jose Dominguez heard a woman screaming for help near the confluence of the Willamette and Yamhill Rivers. They located a woman struggling in the water and gave her a flotation device and brought her on board their patrol board. The woman told them that her boyfriend — Thomas Paul Stavrum, 51, of Lafayette — had jumped from their boat to go swimming and was still missing. 

Deputies continued to look for Stavrum until just after midnight. They continued the search again on Sunday and Monday morning but were unsuccessful, according to a press release. 

Capt. Chris Ray, of the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office, said in an email the marine patrol and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue will continue to search in the areas in hopes of locating the missing swimmers. 

“Unfortunately, this is now a recovery operation,” he said. 

With more hot weather in the forecast, the sheriff’s office is urging swimmers to use flotation devices. 

-Jake Thomas

3 months ago

Salem-Keizer cancels summer programs Monday due to heat

Giovanni Fajardo Perez, a student in Crystal Magee's kindergarten and first grade classroom, uses colored pencils on the first day back to school at Richmond Elementary on Tuesday, March 2. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

The Salem-Keizer School District has canceled all summer programs and activities scheduled for Monday, June 28 due to extreme heat.

The temperature in Salem Monday is expected to reach 108 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Free summer meals will remain available at all nine district meal sites from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For a list of meal sites, visit the district website.

-Rachel Alexander

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