(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Thursday, Aug. 10 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.
At least 36 people are dead and thousands of families’ lives are forever changed after a wildfire ripped through Lahaina on the west shore of Maui this week. Many people in Lahaina had to jump into the ocean to get away from the blaze.
“I have a lot of childhood memories of jumping off those walls just into the water for fun,” David Kahoilua, owner of Bamboo Grove in south Portland, told KGW. “I can’t imagine the sudden terror - had to have been crazy. To have to wake up in the middle of the night and have to flee and jump in the ocean to save their lives.”
Kahoilua was born and raised in Lahaina, and like many Native Hawaiians, he reached out to family and friends to ensure they were safe. But the wildfires have caused more than 14,000 power outages and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses, making contacting anyone there difficult. He said he’s praying for their safety and a message to let him know they’re OK.
The Oregon State Fire Marshall hasn’t sent firefighters to Maui but said it will consider it if a request is made. The Salvation Army’s Portland division also said it’s on standby to help.
August heat is beginning to build as warm and drier air moves into the Portland region this week. On Thursday, morning clouds will keep temperatures slightly below average, but afternoon sunshine will push temperatures into the low to mid-80s.
A heat wave is building over the Pacific Ocean and will move toward western Oregon and Washington this weekend and into next week. Afternoon and evening highs are expected to be around 10-15 degrees above normal across the region. The valley, as well as the Oregon coast, will see warmer conditions.
Starting Monday, Oregonians expecting a child in the family or having surgery can begin applying for the Paid Leave Oregon program. If approved, applicants could receive up to 12 weeks of paid time off for medical or family leave. The paid leave can also apply to victims of sexual assault or domestic violence.
Paid Leave Oregon said it expects to receive 41,000 claims for benefits initially, and will have 250 staffers in the department to answer phone call and processes applications.
In January, workers and employers started paying an automatic 1% contribution, split between the two of them, to go toward the program. The amount of money applicants receive depends on their income before paid leave begins. To qualify, residents will need to earn at least $1,000 during the past year.
Thanks for reading! See you next week with all the latest Portland news.