76 Dead In Pacific Northwest Heat Wave

(Photo by KATHRYN ELSESSER/AFP via Getty Images)

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Harry Wilmerding Contributor
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Over 76 people died this week in the Pacific Northwest after an extreme heat wave hit the region, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The majority of deaths came in Multnomah County, Oregon, where 45 of the 76 people were found dead, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“This was a true health crisis that has underscored how deadly an extreme heat wave can be, especially to otherwise vulnerable people,’’ Multnomah County, Portland Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines said in a press release on Wednesday.

“I know many county residents were looking out for each other and am deeply saddened by this initial death toll. As our summers continue to get warmer, I suspect we will face this kind of event again,’’ Vines said in the press release.

Portland temperatures hit a record high of 115 on Monday, breaking the 112 degree record set on Sunday, according to the WSJ.

Seattle saw a record high of 108 degrees on Monday, passing its record of 104 degrees set on Saturday, the WSJ reported.

The victims who died were between the ages of 44 to 97, the press release said. Out of the 45 victims in Multnomah, 17 were women and 27 were men.

Most of the victims had underlying health conditions and were found dead alone without air conditioning, the Multnomah County press release said.

The heat wave was caused by an Omega Block Ridge, a band of overhead high pressure acting as a blocking pattern, Accuweather meteorologist Brett Rossio told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Friday. (RELATED: Triple-Digit Heat Wave Baking Pacific Northwest Triggers First Rolling Blackouts)

The block ridge does not allow for weather progression, causing the heat to become trapped and baking the region, Rossio said.

“This will be a heat wave to remember,” Rossio said Friday.

“Not many people in the Pacific Northwest have experienced a heat wave like this,” Rossio said.

486 people were reported dead between Friday and Wednesday in Northwest Canada, according to the WSJ.

The peak of the heat wave has passed but temperatures are still expected to stay uncomfortably high, according to the WSJ.

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