Longview residents make a run for air conditioners, fans ahead of scorching weekend | Local

Jerome Powell

Fred Meyer fans

Manager Lisa Baker checks on the store’s supply of box fans ahead of this weekend’s 100-degree temperatures Thursday at Fred Meyer in Longview.

Courtney Talak

When temperatures rise outside, Manager Lisa Baker sees more people inside the cool walls of Longview’s Fred Meyer.

An uptick of grocers browse the aisles during summer afternoons to cool down, she said, not necessarily to shop.

“We welcome it. It’s about safety,” she said. “Whatever we can do to help the community and do our part.”

In a region known for its mild summers and lack of air conditioning, Lower Columbia residents are facing increasingly high temperatures, expected to peak near 111 degrees this weekend.

Locals — unprepared for blazing June days — are trying to beat the heat with electric fans and air conditioning as area businesses and social service organizations try to catch up with demand.

June high temperatures

The mean June temperature in Longview over the past 96 years has been about 86 degrees. This weekend, temperatures are expected to hit above 100 degrees. 

Businesses ramp up

According to the Western Regional Climate Center, Longview hasn’t seen a 100-degree June day in nearly 66 years.

In July 1981, the local record high hit 108 degrees — nearly as high as this weekend’s forecast.

More people are turning to electric fans, air conditioning and water as temperatures heat up.

Cowlitz County temperatures could hit record highs this weekend

A weekend heat wave is expected to break high-temperature records in Longview and across the Pacific Northwest, prompting an excessive heat wa…

Baker said she doubled Fred Meyer’s fan orders to prepare for the demand. Water sales have doubled in the past week as well, she said, possibly due to rising temperatures and the city’s recent water shortage.

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