Head to the lake, the pool, the coast

by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: JILL REHKOPF SMITH - Rex Weller, 4, tries to pull his dad, Thomas Weller, out of the Tualatin River while mom Sarah Cain watches. The Hillsboro family found respite from the heat Saturday near Cherry Grove, in the cool water between Lee Falls and Little Lee Falls. It’s hot.

A heatwave that began last Friday is expected to last throughout the week, according to Steve Pierce of Northwest Weather Consultants in Vancouver, Wash.

“The Pacific Northwest is going to feel the heat as Mother Nature opens up the oven door in what has the potential to be the longest stretch of hot weather in several years,” Pierce said last week.

Over the weekend, temperatures in the 90s had western Washington County residents sweltering — and trying to come up with ways to beat the heat. Runners took to the roads in the morning to get their miles in early, and folks ventured outdoors to water their rose bushes and garden beds as the sun began to rise in the sky.

The Forest Grove Aquatic Center wasn’t at a loss for business.

“Patrons have been enjoying their visits this summer, especially with the recent hot temperatures,” said Sherri Mead, aquatic supervisor for the city. “We are anticipating more busy public swims due to the next heat wave arriving, but have not had to turn anyone away.”

As multiple days of 90-plus degree weather begin to take their toll, finding respite gets trickier. Here are a few ideas on keeping one’s cool as the thermometer goes crazy:

n Head for the Oregon Coast. If you do, plan on it taking a little longer than usual because of the throngs heading the same direction. Pack an ice chest in your car with cool drinks and snacks. Enjoy the scenery along Highway 26 and Highway 101 as you make your way to Seaside, Oceanside, Cannon Beach, Lincoln City, Newport and the towns in between. by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Children frolicked in the spray park at the Forest Grove Aquatic Center Friday as temperatures began to rise. Despite a brief period of rain Sunday, this weeks weather is expected to stay in the 90- to 100-degree range.

n Take a dip in the lake. A local jewel, Hagg Lake sits just southwest of Forest Grove in Gaston. Even though a new campground planned for the site won’t open until summer 2015, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy boating, fishing and swimming in the lake’s blue waters. About 803,000 people visited Hagg Lake last year, 45 percent of them from outside Washington County.

Beyond that, PGE officials offered several tips for staying cool while saving energy during the coming week’s heat wave.

n Open windows when it’s cool outside. Monitor outside temperatures; when it’s warming up and approaching 75 to 80 degrees, close windows and use an indoor fan.

n Set the central air thermostat to 75 degrees (instead of 70 degrees). This results in an estimated monthly savings of $11.

n Close curtains or blinds on sun-facing windows. Use white window shades, drapes or blinds to reflect heat away from the house.

n When cooling the whole house with an air conditioner, be sure to keep all windows and doors closed. When cooling a single room with a window air conditioner, close all windows and doors in that room to keep the unit running more efficiently.

n Consider turning off the air conditioning and running a portable window fan overnight for 12 hours. For an average home with air conditioning, this results in an estimated energy savings of $32 a month.

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