Portland streetcar service suspended amid heat wave due to melting cables
Portland shut down its streetcar and light rail services on Monday due to cables melting from the extreme, record-breaking heat currently scorching the Pacific Northwest.
The mass transit company TriMet announced on Monday that it would be suspending all services until Tuesday morning due to the extreme heat, KOIN reports.
Portland has reported record high temperatures for the past three days in a row, recording 115 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday.
“The historic high temperatures, which are approaching or exceeding 110 degrees in some areas, are straining the power grid and the overhead wires that power MAX trains. The MAX system is designed to operate in conditions up to 110 degrees. Forecasts show it will likely only get hotter tomorrow without sufficient time to cool down,” TriMet said in an announcement.
In case you’re wondering why we’re canceling service for the day, here’s what the heat is doing to our power cables. pic.twitter.com/EqbKUgCJ3K
— Portland Streetcar (@PDXStreetcar) June 27, 2021
“As high temperatures continue to occur through Tuesday morning, there is the strong possibility of further heat-related disruptions later,” TriMet stated. “TriMet is concerned for the health and well-being of our passengers, and we want everyone to stay healthy and safe during this unprecedented heatwave. It will take time to give the system time to cool off.”
Many businesses and schools have been forced to close due to concerns over the high temperatures. Public pools that would normally serve as cooling-off areas have also shut down. Some cities have opened more indoor spaces such as libraries in order to provide places to cool off.
Extreme temperatures such as these are generally unheard of in the Pacific Northwest region better known for its cooler climate. As such, much of the infrastructure in the region is ill-equipped to handle high temperatures. Roads and pavements have begun to buckle and pop due to expansion under the extreme heat.