Area Rivers Too Cold Despite Warm Weather, Experts Say

Portland, Ore. – Portland saw record breaking temperatures on Friday, and warm weather is expected throughout Mother’s Day Weekend, but Multnomah County and other agencies are warning people against using area waterways as a strategy to cool down. The problem is the water could be too effective at cooling you down.

EMT Zach Green works on American Medical Response’s River Rescue Team. “… the water is still very fast moving, it’s pretty high right now. There is a lot of snowmelt, and it’s very cold in those strong currents, and cold waters can put even the strongest swimmers in pretty precarious positions.”

Brendon Haggerty with Multnomah County Health says that this mini-heat event could feel more severe than a warmer event later in the year because our Pacific Northwest Bodies haven’t warmed up to the idea of temps above 70 just yet.

“We’re experiencing a little bit of whiplash here, as we go from almost winter-like temperatures last week to summer-like temperatures this week, with not very much ramp up in-between.” Haggerty says that this happened last Mother’s Day weekend too. Extra heat sensitivity send numerous people to area hospitals.