Heat wave causes problems for area schools

PORTLAND -- It is warm outside, said 8-year-old Peyton DeMartino, with a very serious look on his face.

He meant business.

The warm sun was welcome for many, like Peyton, Wednesday.

But then, it got a little too hot.

Wednesday's high reached a record-breaking 91 degrees in the Portland metro area and Thursday was expected to hit 88.

Pretty hot. I mean, it's probably 80 or 90 outside, said DeMartino, a third grader at Cedar Mill Elementary in Beaverton.

KGW caught up with Peyton's class as they came back from their physical education class outside.

The heat was written all over their faces.

Paige Wiley's face was extremely flushed and she was sweating.

It's very hot and every moment I was out there my face got redder and redder, said 9-year-old Paige. And, it's still very hot in the classroom.

She was right. That s because only half their school has air conditioning.

From the office, that direction east, each of the classrooms down there have an air conditioning unit so that end of the building is cooler. This side, no. We're old style, said Brian Horne, the school's principal.

Kids brought water bottles. Teachers opened windows in the morning and closed the blinds once the sun started beating down.

They're doing as much as they can, Horne said, until this early-in-the-season hot spell passes by.

At a certain point in the afternoon, you're just circulating warm air, said Horne.

Meanwhile, in Southeast Portland, emails have started flooding into the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Portland.

For those who suffer from MS, the heat is more than just a discomfort.

Heat actually causes the nervous system to short circuit, said Candyce Hayes, the Executive Director of MSSP.

Something like an air conditioner that would be a luxury for you and I is the difference between people being able to work, go out and be active in their life. It is a lifesaver, she said.

People with MS can apply for a new air conditioning unit through the organization's Summer Comfort program.

People submit applications and they are required to send in documentation of their MS and then we review the applications on June 30th and start sending [new window air conditioners] out in July, said Hayes.

Hayes said because of a recent grant from Nike, they have more in-window air conditioners to give out.

Call the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Portland at 503-297-9544 or visit www.msoregon.org to learn how to apply.


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