Portland, Ore. — Portland Police spent much of a snowy Tuesday night assisting those in need.
East Precinct officers were out looking for stranded motorists and developing a safety plan for folks stuck in their cars, including transportation to safe, warm locations. If vehicles were unoccupied, officers were marking them with yellow tape to indicate that the car had been checked and was clear. Officers on ATVs and in SUVs contacted and/or marked nearly three dozen vehicles on I-205 and along surface streets.
Central Precinct officers responded to dozens of hazard calls, especially in the West Hills, I-5, I-405 and Highway 26. Officers worked to block roadways that were of significant concerns and worked with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to close others.
Officers responded to stranded motorists and worked to help them get to a safe place. Some were able to get home while others were given rides by police to Central Precinct where they were provided food as officers contacted area hotels to arrange for rooms. Once rooms were secured, officers gave families rides to the hotels for the night.
Officers also responded to welfare checks for homeless people and made dozens of contacts. Approximately three dozen homeless people were transported to warming shelters. More than two dozen did not want to go to shelters so officers gave out a few jackets to those that needed them.
As the cold weather continues, drivers need to be properly prepared for the weather with a full tank of gas, traction devices or snow tires, extra food and water, and a healthy dose of patience.
If you see someone outside, unsheltered whose life appears to be in danger or is in an apparent medical crisis, call 9-1-1. Otherwise, if you see someone about whom you are concerned, such as not being dressed for the weather conditions, call police non-emergency 503-823-3333 and request a welfare check for that person. To assist someone in locating shelter and transportation to shelter, please call 211.
As freezing temperatures continue, Portland Police officers will be actively looking for and checking on vulnerable people and facilitating transportation to warming shelters as needed.
Warming centers are open in Portland and Gresham with capacity during day and night. Call 211 in Multnomah County at any hour for the latest information about open shelters. Calls are answered in over 150 languages. You can also visit 211’s website at http://www.211info.org for updated information and sign up for emails or texts about updated warming center locations. Severe weather centers will accommodate individuals and couples, pets and belongings, and do not require identification or any other documentation. Families with children seeking shelter should also call 211 and will be directed to a shelter that can accommodate children.
People seeking to get warm, especially during daytime hours, are encouraged to utilize public buildings that are open to the public, including, for example, libraries and community centers. Library hours are listed on Multnomah County Library’s website – https://multcolib.org/hours-and-locations City community center information is listed here – https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/39839
During extreme cold weather there is increased risk of exposure-related injuries for unsheltered homeless people who do not have sufficient gear, such as coats, hats, gloves, footwear, tarps, sleeping bags and blankets. For information about what and where to donate, please contact 211info by dialing 211 or by visiting their website.
For additional information on the dangers of cold including: hypothermia, carbon monoxide hazards and important information on the use of alternative sources of heat, please visit – https://multco.us/multnomah-county/news/dangers-cold