Speed Reads

Can't take the heat

It's so hot in Portland that transit power cables are melting

Oregon's Portland Streetcar was forced to suspend transit service on Sunday because the "insane, bonkers, and incredible" heat dome boiling the Pacific Northwest is apparently melting streetcar power cables.

It hit 112 degrees in Portland on Sunday and is expected to reach 114 degrees Monday, as the heatwave lingers in the region. The streetcar shutdown will continue through Monday. Climate experts are expressing alarm at the heat's effects on infrastructure: "We have a climate crisis fueling cascading health, power, and transportation crises," said Constantine Samaras, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. "It's time to do something."

While the heat dome is being called a once-in-a-lifetime event, the Oregon Climate Office warned that "these events are becoming more frequent and more intense," and that the trend of extreme weather is "projected to continue."