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Deadly US Northwest Heat Prompts Legislation Aimed At Relief

A volunteer helps set up snacks at a cooling center established to help vulnerable residents ride out a dangerous heat wave on Aug. 11, 2021. The historic heat wave, which toppled all-time temperature records, killed more than 200 people in Oregon and Washington. Now, lawmakers in the Pacific Northwest are eyeing several emergency heat relief bills aimed at helping vulnerable populations. The proposed measures would provide millions in funding for cooling systems and weather shelters during future extreme weather events. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus, File)
A volunteer helps set up snacks at a cooling center established to help vulnerable residents ride out a dangerous heat wave on Aug. 11, 2021. The historic heat wave, which toppled all-time temperature records, killed more than 200 people in Oregon and Washington. Now, lawmakers in the Pacific Northwest are eyeing several emergency heat relief bills aimed at helping vulnerable populations. The proposed measures would provide millions in funding for cooling systems and weather shelters during future extreme weather events. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus, File)
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Portland, Ore. (AP) -- As Oregon’s capital city sweltered under a deadly June heat wave, Bryleigh O’Neil and three roommates were unable to afford or find air conditioners.

They spent their days seeking relief from 117-degree (47 C) temperatures in grocery stores and college classrooms. At night, the Salem housemates slept downstairs next to fans blowing over bowls of ice.