Cold beats geothermal: S. Ore. outdoor pool closes



PORTLAND — The geothermal heat warming a public outdoor pool in Klamath Falls couldn’t keep up with the region’s cold snap.

Officials in the high-desert city known for heating businesses, homes and sidewalks with geothermal resources have closed the pool at least until next week because it’s too cool for users such as the area’s high school swim teams, the Klamath Falls Herald and News reported Thursday.

It was cold in the area east of the Cascade Range on Wednesday, about 7 above in the city and setting a record low for the day at nearby Crater Lake: minus 2.

The pool is normally around 80 degrees and sometimes closes in cold weather, but that’s usually in January.

The pool temperature had fallen to about 75, low enough to put users at risk, said John Bellon, superintendent of parks maintenance and operations.

He said it would take days for the geothermal heat to warm such a large body of water, so the closure is likely to last several days.

Statewide, the cold is expected to be followed by significant snow in much of southern and eastern Oregon.

On Friday, southwestern Oregon cities are expected to see snowfall ranging from 3 to 6 inches and accumulating on roads, the National Weather Service said.

The forecasts call for several inches of snow Friday and Saturday in northeastern and Central Oregon, with cold temperatures persisting into next week.

Arctic air is expected to mean low temperatures in the teens and lower beginning Friday and lasting through the weekend in northwest Oregon and the Columbia Gorge, whose famous winds are expected to gust at up to 60 mph.