Multnomah County will open emergency warming shelters tonight, starting at 8 pm. With the possibility of snow in some areas of Portland, County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson said a state of emergency will trigger the opening of four severe weather shelters and a “limited number of severe weather beds” at a year-round shelter already in operation.

The four shelters opening at 8 pm tonight are:

A limited number of severe weather beds are also opening at an existing year-round shelter:

Each shelter will stay open at least through 10 am Thursday, February 15. County leaders say they may opt to keep shelters open through tomorrow, depending on the weather conditions. No one will be turned away from the shelters, and all sites allow pets and are accessible to people with disabling conditions. 

TriMet is advising that any rider looking for transport to or from a shelter will not be turned away for inability to pay, as long as they alert the driver at the payment hub as they board the buses.

The transit agency warns the public that its MAX system is currently undergoing renovations for the A Better Red MAX Extension and Reliability Improvements Project. That means the MAX Red Line isn’t running. Instead, shuttle buses are serving portions of the MAX Blue, Green and Red line routes through Northeast Portland. The Gateway Transit Center is the current shuttle bus hub. 

“TriMet is also preparing as though there will be snow tonight,” a news release from the agency states. “If we need to chain our buses, it will affect travel times. Chained buses are limited to 25 mph. Riders should be prepared for buses to operate behind schedule if they are chained.”

Severe weather shelters open when the forecasted temperature reaches 25 degrees or below, or 32 degrees with an inch or more of rain, or when the region expects an inch or more of snow over a 24-hour period. The county is now also empowered to open emergency shelters at the discretion of leaders, when other factors threaten public health during a weather event.

For more information on shelters and places to go to keep warm and dry, visit Multnomah County’s “Care for When It’s Cold” site.