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Good morning, Portland! The days of below-freezing temperatures are behind us, for now. Today brings rain, temperatures in the high 40s, and more weird sounds of melting ice dropping from trees. Suzette puts the street-level conditions best:
Portland sidewalks have reached WAP radio edit levels of wet and gushy.— Suzette Smith (@suzettesmith) February 16, 2021
- The storm may be over, but the crisis it created is not: As of this morning, at least 140,000 households in the Portland metro region were still without power from the weekend's weather. Portland General Electric tells the Oregonian that more than 6,000 individual power lines are still down, despite more than 2,500 employees working through the night to getting folks back on the grid. For some residents, this is the fourth day in a row without electricity.
- The weather conditions have thrown Oregon's COVID-19 vaccine plan slightly off schedule. Health officials say the storm has delayed vaccine shipments and COVID-19 tests statewide, contributing to suspiciously low daily COVID-19 case counts. Find out more about accessing the vaccine in Multnomah County here.
- Troutdale Safeway's roof caved in yesterday under the weight of snow and ice. Thankfully—and surprisingly—there were no injuries.
- As temperatures rise, Multnomah County plans to shutter its severe weather emergency shelters today. But houseless Portlanders are still going to be living in cold, damp conditions outside. Find out how to continue supporting your homeless neighbors here.
- The Portland Street Response pilot program kicks off today in the Lents neighborhood! Here's a refresher on what the first-of-its-kind program aims to do.
meteorologists call this weather pattern "7-Eleven Microwave Burrito" pic.twitter.com/UjUruiGGay— Matt Oswalt (@MattOswaltVA) February 15, 2021
- Several states across the US are still dealing the the aftermath of the arctic storm. Texas, which famously has its own electricity grid to avoid federal regulations, is possibly the worst hit. More than 1 million households in Houston were still without power Monday during the area's coldest stretch of days in 32 years. The crisis has Texans risking icy roads and COVID-19 exposure to hunker down with family members and friends with electricity.
- With the second attempt to impeach Donald Trump in the rear-view mirror, US Democrats are looking for another way to hold Trump accountable for the January 6 insurrection. On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced plans to create an independent commission to investigate the attack on the US Capitol, modeled after the 9-11 commission. Like they always say, "When you can't impeach, create a commission!"
- Here's some (tentative) good news: The country's daily average of new COVID-19 cases over a week period has dipped below 90,000 the first time since early November. Scientists aren't positive why, but it could be because *gasp* people are actually following safety guidelines?
- If you’re like me and have only been half paying attention to the drama circling New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, but know is ostensibly bad, here's an easy way to get up to speed.
- Lastly, I have been waiting patiently for this SNL skit for years: