by Paul Faruq Kiefer
(This article was previously published by PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
On the morning of Wednesday, June 30, Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) staff covered part of a window at the entrance of the Twin Rivers Unit (TRU) at the Monroe Correctional Complex in Snohomish County in an attempt to lower the heat inside on a day when outside temperatures peaked at 82 degrees.
But people incarcerated in the TRU say they spent the worst of the past week’s heat wave — including a high of 111 degrees in Monroe on Monday, June 28 — in sweltering cells with no air-conditioning and few chances to cool down, while prison staff had access to air-conditioned offices when temperatures rose into the triple digits.
The newly covered window, they said, was too little, too late. But few of those living in the unit are confident that prison administrators are planning ahead for another heat wave. “These are only going to get more common,” said David, a prisoner in the TRU who spoke with PubliCola on Wednesday. “And it’s pretty clear that [the DOC] won’t be prepared for the next one.” (PubliCola is using David’s first name only to reduce the risk of retaliation.)
Continue reading Sweltering Temperatures and Minimal Preparation Left State Prisoners Struggling to Cope
curated by Emerald Staff
A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
Seattle Sees (and Feels) Hottest Day on Record
During the recent heatwave, on Monday, June 28, 2021, the National Weather Service (NWS) station at SeaTac recorded 108 degrees Fahrenheit — the highest temp on record for Seattle.
The highest temp ever recorded in Seattle prior to Sunday, June 27, 2021, which is the day we broke the last record (with a 104-degree reading at SeaTac), was a balmy 103 recorded in 2009. This year, roadway pavement even expanded and buckled in some places due to the heat in Seattle, nearby, and elsewhere in the state, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS: Record-Setting Heat, West Seattle Bridge Repair Developments, and More!
by Carolyn Bick
This weekend and into early next week, the entire Pacific Northwest will see a record-breaking heatwave roll into town. For those who have air conditioning, the next few days will likely be spent inside and away from the windows. It will likely be an inconvenience, at best. But for those who don’t have air conditioning or easy access to it — specifically, those experiencing homelessness and low-income families — the heatwave, with temperatures reaching into the low 100s, could prove fatal.
Continue reading City Prepares for Extreme Heat by Opening Cooling Shelters, Finally Getting Around to Fixing Water Fountains