Dozens Die Across British Columbia And Pacific Northwest Amid “Historic” Heat Wave
The Pacific Northwest is experiencing a multi-day heat wave that we said last week would be “historic.” The unrelenting triple-digit temperatures shattered records on Monday and Tuesday and have stressed out power grids in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. Many folks in these areas don’t have central air condition and struggle to survive in these unprecedented conditions. At the moment, dozens have died of heat-related complications since last Friday.
Just north of the Pacific Northwest is Canada’s westernmost province, British Columbia, where Death Valley hot temperatures reached triple digits. Many folks in this region of the Pacific coastline and mountain ranges don’t have central air condition and found it challenging to stay cool.
CNN reports more than 230 deaths across British Columbia have been recorded since Friday. The coroner for the region called it an “unprecedented time.”
“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.
BC Coroners Service said it usually receives on average 130 deaths over four days, but from Friday through Monday, at least 233 deaths were reported. The chief coroner warned this number is expected to climb as new data comes in.
“Environmental heat exposure can lead to severe or fatal results, particularly in older people, infants and young children and those with chronic illnesses,” the coroner’s office said.
As for the Pacific Northwest, a dozen deaths in Washington and Oregon are believed to be due to heat-related complications. Temperatures in Seattle and Portland have recorded highs over 100 degrees for multiple days.
We noted Tuesday, Portland and Seattle experienced temperatures 30 to 40 degrees above average.
More inland towns in eastern Oregon and metro areas in Idaho saw triple-digit temperatures.
Record heat has contributed to soaring energy prices across British Columbia and Pacific Northwest states. On Tuesday, there were power grid issues with reports of Avista Corporation, a supplier of electricity to 340,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in the Pacific Northwest, had to implement rolling blackouts to 9,300 customers to prevent its grid from being overloaded on Monday. Nearly 21,000 customers were warned Tuesday they may face outages, and with persistent hot weather – more outages could be seen on Wednesday.
Nationwide, extreme heat is underway on both coasts. We warned on Sunday that a ‘heat dome’ was set to roast the Northeast this week. With temperatures in the upper 90s approaching triple digits across New York and New Jersey, Con Edison on Tuesday evening warned customers in Queens and Manhattan’s Upper West Side to conserve energy.
In the coming days, there will be some relief for the Northeast as temperatures subside. Still, in the Pacific Northwest, positive temperature anomalies are expected through the first half of the month, which may result in more heat-related deaths.