PO Box 101 ~ 300 Memorial Drive, South Bend, WA 98586
(360) 875-9340 Office ~ (360) 875-9341 EOC ~ (360) 875-9342 Fax

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

National Weather Service Predicts Possible Hazardous Weather

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service, Portland Office issued a special weather statement regarding the potential for wind and coastal storm surge later in the week.

Increasingly high astronomical tides combined with moderate southerly winds Thursday through Saturday may result in the potential for coastal flooding toward the end of this week. The first episode of wind will occur midday Thursday which coincides with one of the highest high tides of the year.

A second wind event will develop midday Friday also near the time of high tide, continuing through Saturday morning. The most susceptible time for tidal overflow or coastal flooding will be midday Friday and again midday Saturday.

At Toke Point near Willapa Bay astronomical high tides of 11.1 ft will occur at the midday tides Thursday and Friday. Water Levels over 11 ft create minor tidal overflows while 14.5 ft is the threshold for more widespread coastal flooding. The magnitude of tidal anomaly is still uncertain.

In addition, rain showers may be mixed with snow in the coast range, with snow levels rising above 3000 feet in the afternoon.

Residents are urged to check the National Weather Service website prior to travelling over the holiday weekend at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Twelve Days of Preparedness

On the first day of Preparedness
my true love sent to me:
A siren in my neighborhood

On the second day of Preparedness
my true love sent to me:
Two weather radios
and a siren in my neighborhood

On the third day of Preparedness
my true love sent to me:
Three Days of Food and Water
Two weather radios
and a siren in my neighborhood

On the fourth day of Preparedness
my true love sent to me:
Four batteries for my flashlight
Three Days of Food and Water
Two weather radios
and a siren in my neighborhood

On the fifth day of Preparedness
my true love sent to me:
Five Smoke Detectors!
Four batteries for my flashlight
Three Days of Food and Water
Two weather radios
and a siren in my neighborhood

On the sixth day of Preparedness
my true love sent to me:
Six extra blankets
Five Smoke Detectors!
Four batteries for my flashlight
Three Days of Food and Water
Two weather radios
and a siren in my neighborhood

On the seventh day of Preparedness
my true love sent to me:
Seven Signs of Severe Weather
Six extra blankets
Five Smoke Detectors!
Four batteries for my flashlight
Three Days of Food and Water
Two weather radios
and a siren in my neighborhood

On the eighth day of Preparedness
my true love sent to me:
Eight Bottles of Sanitizer
Seven Signs of Severe Weather
Six extra blankets
Five Smoke Detectors!
Four batteries for my flashlight
Three Days of Food and Water
Two weather radios
and a siren in my neighborhood

On the ninth day of Preparedness
my true love sent to me:
Nine Fire Extinguishers
Eight Bottles of Sanitizer
Seven Signs of Severe Weather
Six extra blankets
Five Smoke Detectors!
Four batteries for my flashlight
Three Days of Food and Water
Two weather radios
and a siren in my neighborhood

On the tenth day of Preparedness
my true love sent to me:
Ten Emergency Numbers
Nine Fire Extinguishers
Eight Bottles of Sanitizer
Seven Signs of Severe Weather
Six extra blankets
Five Smoke Detectors!
Four batteries for my flashlight
Three Days of Food and Water
Two weather radios
and a siren in my neighborhood

On the eleventh day of Preparedness
my true love sent to me:
Eleven Rolls of Duct Tape
(That’s for Sheltering-in-Place)
Ten Emergency Numbers
Nine Fire Extinguishers
Eight Bottles of Sanitizer
Seven Signs of Severe Weather
Six extra blankets
Five Smoke Detectors!
Four batteries for my flashlight
Three Days of Food and Water
Two weather radios
and a siren in my neighborhood

On the twelfth day of Preparedness
my true love sent to me:
Twelve Diapers for the Baby
Eleven Rolls of Duct Tape
(That’s for Sheltering-in-Place)
Ten Emergency Numbers
Nine Fire Extinguishers
Eight Bottles of Sanitizer
Seven Signs of Severe Weather
Six extra blankets
Five Smoke Detectors!
Four batteries for my flashlight
Three Days of Food and Water
Two weather radios
and a siren in my neighborhood.

And last but not least... thanks for Johnson County Kansas Emergency Management for sharing their creativity with holiday spirit with us!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

National Weather Service Issues Coastal Flood Advisory

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service, Portland Office notified the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency of a Coastal Flood Advisory, which is in effect until 2:00 p.m. this afternoon.

A Coastal Flood Advisory means that there may be minor tidal overflow along low lying sections of the southwest coast, including low lying areas within the City of Raymond.

A predicted high tide of 11.5 feet combined with strong offshore winds, significant swell and high astronomical tides due to the new moon, may produce minor tidal overflow along the south Washington coast at midday today. The tidal anomaly is expected to be 1’ – 1.5’ producing a high tide possibly greater than 12.0’. This may result in the closure of lanes of State Route 101, in the central Raymond area. The National Weather Service indicated that minor flooding is expected near the city.

This event will is accompanied by a High Surf Advisory. Seas will reach 19’ – 20’ early this evening and hold around 10’ tonight. The large swell will cause hazardous conditions in the surf zone and beachgoers should use caution if venturing near the water.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Snow, Sleet, and Freezing Rain Possible

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) participated in a weather briefing with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland this afternoon. A hazardous weather outlook is currently issued for Pacific County. Cold temperatures are expected to continue through the weekend. Beginning late Friday evening, precipitation is likely to fall as a mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain. An eventual change over to all rain is expected by Sunday. Citizens are encouraged to stay home. If you must travel, be sure your vehicle is equipped with the proper emergency supplies, drive safely, and check road conditions before leaving home. Road temperatures can be viewed on the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) website at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Traffic/Roadtemps/default.aspx. Winter driving tips are also available on the WSDOT website at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/winter/. For the most up to date weather information from the NWS please visit http://www.weather.gov/portland. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the southwest Washington area.

Monday, December 7, 2009

North Cove AHAB Siren Out of Service

South Bend, Washington – The cause of the accidental activations at the All Hazard Alert Broadcast (AHAB) siren located at the intersection of Seabreeze Avenue and Warrenton Cannery Road in North Cove is believed to be the fault of a defective controller. A technician from Federal Signal visited the site Friday and removed the controller. This AHAB siren will remain out of service until repairs can be completed. The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency office has received reports from citizens illustrating that this was a good exercise opportunity. Please read one citizen’s story posted on our blog at http://tiny.cc/roguesiren. Residents with questions or concerns may contact the PCEMA office at (360) 875-9340 or (360) 642-9340.

Rogue Siren Helped Citizens Prepare

This email was received on December 4th by the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency and is being posted with the author's permission. It is a citizen's experience dealing with the accidental activations of the All Hazards Alert Broadcast siren at the intersection of Seabreeze Avenue and Warrenton Cannery Road in North Cove. My name is Elaine and I live in North Cove. I heard the first siren that went off at 4 a.m. It woke me up and I jumped up and ran in and turned on my emergency radio and there was no information about an emergency. I realized I didn't know any phone number to call and I realized I didn't have a clue of what to do next. My emergency radio wasn't in my car. I didn't know where my cell phone was to grab it. I also hadn't taken the time to get some warm clothes on and be sure to have some shoes on. My husband hadn't even gotten out of bed. So, if this had been a real emergency, we weren't as ready as we should have been. The siren has been going off again this morning. Maybe this will help someone else to be more prepared. I have emergency supplies in my car but some of the important things that I use were not ready to be grabbed. I'm assuming if the alarm doesn't go off on our radio it is probably not a real emergency. If the siren goes off and no voice comes on it probably isn't an emergency. I need to post a telephone number to call even if at 4 a.m. in the morning; keep my cell phone where I can grab it in case of an emergency; get my important papers in my safety deposit box; and back up my computer on one of the advertised programs. The 4 a.m. wake up call was good for me to be more prepared, although it might not be good for people with a weak heart. My husband didn't have his hearing aids in so he didn't hear anything. He kept right on sleeping so that wasn't a problem for him. It was mentioned at the meeting in Tokeland to keep in touch and let you know if we hear the sirens so that is what I am doing. Elaine

H1N1 Clinics for the General Public

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Health Department will begin holding H1N1 clinics for the general public on Monday, December 14th. Clinics will be by appointment only. The clinics are for anyone 6 months or older interested in being vaccinated. The vaccine will be available in both the shot and the nasal mist. The Health Department will begin taking appointments on Monday, December 7th. Please call between the hours of 9 am-12 pm and 1 pm-4:30 pm. North County Clinic Appointments – (360) 875-9300 x2639 Location – Pacific County Annex, 1216 West Robert Bush Drive, South Bend South County Clinic Appointments – (360) 642-9349, option 2 Location – South County Administration Facility, 7013 Sandridge Road, Long Beach It is expected that the phone lines will be busy. If you reach a busy signal please continue to call back until you get through. The public’s patience and cooperation is greatly appreciated. The Health Department will have a few hundred doses available at each clinic on December 14th. Additional vaccine is expected each week and public clinics will continue to be scheduled until the demand is being met. Local pharmacies and health care providers will also have doses available. The number of new cases of H1N1 in the state appears to be slowing. However, with the holidays upon us, it is important that people continue to do what they can to stay healthy and prevent the spread of the flu. As we gather together with family and friends, please remember to cover your cough, wash your hands often, and stay home if you are feeling ill. If you need additional information about H1N1 influenza there is 24 hour information available in both English and Spanish at 888-703-4364. Information may also be obtained through the Washington State Department of Health website at www.doh.wa.gov/h1n1/.

Friday, December 4, 2009

AHAB Siren Malfunctions

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) was notified at about 10:00 a.m. this morning that the All Hazard Alert Broadcast (AHAB) siren located at the intersection of Seabreeze Avenue and Warrenton Cannery Road in North Cove is continuing to activate spontaneously. PCEMA worked yesterday, taking advice from Federal Signal, to silence the siren. It became apparent with today’s activation that the work that took place yesterday was insufficient. A technician from Pacific County is on site and a technician from Federal Signal is en route to the site at this time. The public’s cooperation and patience is appreciated while this issue is being resolved. Reports from citizens illustrate that this has been a good exercise opportunity. In actual events, operational protocols specify that the siren will sound a constant tone for three continuous minutes and will be followed by a voice message. Residents with questions or concerns may contact the PCEMA office at (360) 875-9340 or (360) 642-9340.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

AHAB Siren in Grayland Accidentally Activates Again

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) was notified at about 11:00 a.m. this morning that the All Hazard Alert Broadcast (AHAB) siren located at the intersection of Seabreeze Avenue and Warrenton Cannery Road in Grayland accidentally activated for the second time today. This siren will be shut down today and will not be included in the monthly test on Monday, December 7th. The cause of the activation remains unknown. PCEMA is working with Washington State Emergency Management to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Residents with questions or concerns may contact the PCEMA office at (360) 875-9340 or (360) 642-9340.

AHAB Siren Accidently Activates in Grayland

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) was notified at 4:00 a.m. this morning that a newly installed All Hazard Alert Broadcast (AHAB) siren located at the intersection of Seabreeze Avenue and Warrenton Cannery Road in Grayland accidentally activated, broadcasting the siren tone for several minutes. This particular siren was powered up for the first time Wednesday, December 2nd in the afternoon, in anticipation of the monthly test on Monday, December 7th. The incident was reported to Washington State Emergency Management, the owner and manager of the siren system. The cause of the activation remains unknown and is under investigation. The next AHAB siren system monthly test will be Monday, December 7th at noon. It is recommended that residents of Pacific County mark their calendars for the monthly AHAB siren system test. The test is currently scheduled for the first Monday of every month at noon. The current procedure for the monthly test is for the sirens to sound the Westminster Chimes for 10 seconds followed by a 15 second verbal message stating “The following is a test of the siren warning system. It is only a test. This is a test of the siren warning system. If this had been a real emergency you should tune your radio to your local radio station or listen to this system for further instructions. This was only a test.” In actual events, the AHAB sirens will sound a constant tone for three continuous minutes, and may be followed by a verbal message. Both the Westminster chimes and the actual warning tone can be heard by visiting the PCEMA website at www.co.pacific.wa.us/pcema and clicking on the Tsunami tab. There are currently ten AHAB sirens installed along the Long Beach Peninsula located in the areas of Ilwaco, Seaview, Long Beach, Surfside, and Ocean Park; one AHAB siren is located in Bay Center; and two additional sirens are installed in Grayland. Sirens are not designed to be heard indoors and the sound may also be impacted by adverse weather. Residents are encouraged to have alternate methods of warning such as NOAA weather radios, which are tested weekly and can be heard indoors. Residents with questions or concerns may contact the PCEMA office at (360) 875-9340 or (360) 642-9340.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Storm Clean-up Volunteers Available

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency was notified by Home Depot that they have volunteers ready to assist Pacific County residents with yard debris clean-up. Please contact Mike Davis or Tamara Roden at (503) 861-9999 x301 or x321 if you need assistance cleaning up yard debris from the storm.

Power Outage Continues for 1,000 Residents

South Bend, Washington – There are still approximately 1,000 Pacific County residents without power this morning. The main line on Highway 103 has been restored and crews will work today to reconnect power to the 24 streets off Highway 103. Other small pockets of homes remain without power throughout the Long Beach Peninsula. The Pacific County PUD has several crews working hard to restore power as quickly as possible. Power is not likely to be restored to all areas of the Peninsula by tonight. PACE Senior Services is again offering a place to warm up and eat a hot lunch today until 5:00 p.m. for residents who remain without power. There is no charge but donations are appreciated. PACE Senior Services is located at 152 1st Avenue in Ilwaco. For questions please contact PACE directly at (360) 642-4300. The Peninsula Senior Center has opened a warming center which will remain open until 8:00 p.m. this evening. The Center is located at 21603 O Lane in Ocean Park. For questions please contact the Senior Center directly at (360) 665-3999. Residents needing oxygen tanks filled can make arrangements by calling Pacific County Fire District 1 station in Ocean Park (360) 665-4451 or the Long Beach Fire Station (360) 244-9041. While no hazardous weather events are currently forecast by the National Weather Service for the next seven days, residents are encouraged to be prepared for 72 hours. When driving at night, be particularly watchful for downed trees and power lines and debris on the road. Residents with life-threatening emergencies should continue to call 9-1-1.

Monday, November 23, 2009

PACE Senior Services Offering Lunch

South Bend, Washington – PACE Senior Services is offering a place to warm up and eat a hot lunch today until 5:00 p.m. for residents who remain without power. There is no charge but donations are appreciated. PACE Senior Services is located at 152 1st Avenue in Ilwaco. For questions please contact PACE directly at (360) 642-4300.

1,800 Remain Without Power in Pacific County

South Bend, Washington – Power outages continue for 1,800 residents in scattered areas on the Long Beach Peninsula. Areas of concentrated outages include: · Cranberry Road to 227th in Long Beach/Ocean Park · Vernon Avenue toward Joe Johns Road in north Ocean Park · Port of Peninsula Other outages remain in a handful of smaller areas throughout the Peninsula. The Pacific County PUD hopes to restore power to most residents by this evening. However, residents should be aware that if their power is not restored by 5:00 p.m. today, they will remain without power throughout the night. Organizations opening a warming/feeding center are encouraged to notify the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency. Residents needing oxygen tanks filled can make arrangements by calling Pacific County Fire District 1 station in Ocean Park (360) 665-4451 or the Long Beach Fire Station (360) 244-9041. While no hazardous weather events are currently forecast by the National Weather Service for the next seven days, residents are encouraged to be prepared for 72 hours. When driving at night, be particularly watchful for downed trees and power lines and debris on the road. Residents with life-threatening emergencies should continue to call 9-1-1.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

6,000 Residents Remain Without Power in Pacific County

South Bend, Washington – There are currently approximately 6,000 residents without power in Pacific County. Early Sunday morning strong west/northwest winds blew through the county knocking down trees, power poles, and power lines, leaving 11,000 residents without power. There was also damage to the Bonneville Power transmission facilities.

Power was restored to areas of Naselle, Chinook, Ilwaco and south Seaview at approximately 2:15 p.m. Sunday with restoration to portions of the City of Long Beach occurring at 3:40 p.m. Power may also be restored to some areas of Ocean Park by this evening.

Damage to power lines and poles along State Route 103 between north Long Beach and Ocean Park was substantial and repairs along this highway may take two to three days to complete. In particular extensive damage to the power lines and poles between 227th and 245th along Vernon Ave, may result in an extended repair time.

All repairs are contingent upon Bonneville Power repairs. Bonneville was able to restore one of two transmission lines today.

Residents can expect small individual power outages for up to two to three days as crews work on repairs and clean up. It is anticipated that 1,500 to 2,000 residents may be affected until repair work is complete.

Organizations opening a warming/feeding center are encouraged to notify the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA). Residents needing oxygen tanks filled can make arrangements by calling Pacific County Fire District 1 station in Ocean Park (360) 665-4451 or the Long Beach Fire Station (360) 244-9041.

While no hazardous weather events are currently forecast by the National Weather Service for the next seven days, residents are encouraged to be prepared for 72 hours. When driving at night, be particularly watchful for downed trees and power lines and debris on the road. Residents with life-threatening emergencies should continue to call 9-1-1.

11,000 Without Power in Pacific County

South Bend, Washington – There are currently approximately 11,000 residents without power in Pacific County. Strong west/northwest winds blew through the county during the night knocking down trees, power poles, and power lines. There is damage to the Bonneville Power transmission facilities and BPA is sending crews to make the necessary repairs. It is possible that portions of Ilwaco, Chinook, and Long Beach will have power restored this evening. Power may also be restored to areas of Ocean Park by this evening as the transmission lines on Sandridge Road do not appear to be heavily damaged. Naselle power may also be restored this evening. There is extensive damage to power lines and poles along State Route 103 between north Long Beach and Ocean Park. Repairs along this highway could take two to three days to complete. This outage affects approximately 3,000 Pacific County residents. All repairs are contingent upon Bonneville Power repairs, which have a high degree of uncertainty. Residents can expect small individual power outages for up to two to three days as crews work on repairs and clean up. The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) has not been notified of any shelters or warming/feeding centers. Residents needing oxygen tanks filled can do so at the Pacific County Fire District 1 station in Ocean Park (360) 665-4451 or at the Long Beach Fire Station (360) 244-9041. Residents are encouraged to be prepared for 72 hours. When driving be watchful for downed trees and power lines and debris on the road. PCEMA is continuing to monitor the situation. Any organization or facility opening a warming/feeding center is requested to notify the Pacific County EOC at (360) 783-2911.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

High Wind Warning Issued for Saturday Nov 21 and early morning Sunday, Nov 22, 2009

A developing Pacific storm may bring another round of high winds to the south Washington Coast.


The National Weather Service in Portland has upgraded the high wind watch to a high wind warning which is in effect from 7 pm Saturday evening to 7 am Sunday for the south Washington coast.

Strong sustained south winds from 40 to 45 mph with gusts as high as 65 mph are expected to develop at coastal headlands and beaches along the south Washington and north Oregon coast tonight. Peak winds are expected to occur between 8 pm and 3 am on the Oregon coast and between midnight and 6 am on the south Washington coast.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or is occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage. Be sure to have flashlights, batteries, and firewood handy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Flood Warning and Road Closure

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) office was advised by the National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland that the Willapa River will exceed flood stage at approximately 7:00 p.m. and is forecasted to crest at 22’ around 10:00 p.m. this evening. Heckard Road is currently closed due to water over the road. Residents are cautioned to watch for water over roadways and other road closures through the night. Please observe all road closures and refrain from driving through flood waters. The NWS has issued the following for the south Washington coast: · A flood warning is in effect through Friday morning · A high wind warning remains in effect until midnight tonight · A high surf advisory remains in effect until 4:00 a.m. Friday · A coastal flood advisory for tidal overflow remains in effect until 6:00 p.m. this evening For the most up to date weather information from the NWS please visit http://www.weather.gov/portland. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the southwest Washington area.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wind, Rain, and Potential Flooding

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) office participated in a weather briefing this morning with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland. A high wind warning has been issued and is in effect until midnight Thursday for the south Washington coast. Southerly winds will increase to 25-35 mph with gusts to 50 mph this afternoon ahead of a strong incoming Pacific frontal system. The strongest winds with sustained south winds of 40-45 mph and gusts to 70 mph will start around 4:00 pm and continue into the evening. Winds will diminish after midnight but re-intensify on Thursday as a second, somewhat stronger, frontal wave lifts north through the offshore waters. Gusts to 60 mph are expected beginning mid Thursday morning but the strongest winds will likely arrive late Thursday afternoon and evening. Sustained south winds of 50 mph with gusts to 80 mph are expected. Once the front moves through around late Thursday evening, winds will ease. A high surf advisory remains in effect from 7:00 p.m. this evening to 4:00 a.m. Friday. This next storm system will once again cause seas offshore to build back up to 25 feet or possibly as high as 30 feet. Dangerous surf will continue to impact coastal areas through Thursday night. Three to six inches of rain are possible with this storm. However, there is a high degree of uncertainty as to the location of the rainfall. The NWS is monitoring the Willapa and Naselle Rivers and will provide updates as necessary. The combination of heavy surf, high tides, building storm surge, and plenty of rain runoff from area rivers may cause minor tidal overflow to return Thursday, especially to the more prone areas such as the City of Raymond, during high tide. Additional storms have the potential to bring periods of high winds to the coast again Friday through the weekend. Weather Outlook: Friday: Rain. High near 48. East southeast wind between 10 and 17 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Friday Night: Showers likely. Cloudy, with a low around 45. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Saturday: Rain likely. Cloudy, with a high near 49. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Saturday Night: Rain. Cloudy, with a low around 42. Sunday: Showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 50. Sunday Night: Rain likely. Cloudy, with a low around 45. Precautionary/Preparedness actions: Residents should again prepare and take this time as an opportunity to take care of problems caused by the past storm before this one arrives. Prepare for possible power outages by checking flashlights, batteries, firewood, and generators. Plan to stay indoors and away from potential hazards such as trees and power lines. For the most up to date weather information from the NWS please visit http://www.weather.gov/portland. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the southwest Washington area.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

High Wind Watch in Effect Wednesday

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has issued a high wind watch which is in effect from Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday evening. The first in a series of storms will begin to affect the south Washington and north Oregon coasts on Wednesday afternoon. South winds of 25-35 mph with gusts to 50 mph will begin to affect the coast by mid-afternoon. Winds will then increase to 30-40 mph with gusts to 70 mph in the evening. Winds will be strongest along the beaches and headlands. Winds will decrease around midnight tomorrow night. The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency does not typically issue statements upon receipt of a high wind watch but given the recent storm believes that more information is better. Precautionary/Preparedness actions: With the recent wind, rain, and saturated ground, residents should again prepare and take this time as an opportunity to take care of problems caused by the past storm before this one arrives. A high wind watch means there is the potential for a hazardous high wind event. Sustained winds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or stronger may occur. Continue to monitor the latest forecasts from the NWS at http://www.weather.gov/portland. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the southwest Washington area.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Flood Warning in Effect for the Willapa River

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) office was advised by the National Weather Service, Portland, that the Willapa River will exceed flood stage at approximately 10:00 p.m. Monday evening. The storm that has hit southwest Washington will continue and is now expected to bring more rain than originally predicted to the Willapa Hills.


Rain throughout the day today has caused the Willapa River to rise sharply this afternoon and an additional two to three inches of rain is expected this evening. The Willapa River is now forecast to crest at 23’ Tuesday morning.

Tidal overflow is expected to occur along low lying portions of the southwest Washington through Tuesday. The greatest possibility of tidal overflow will be in and around the City of Raymond during high tide around 1:00 p.m. Tuesday.

The NWS has issued:
  • A high wind warning in effect until 10:00 a.m. Tuesday for southwest Washington
  • A high surf advisory in effect until 10:00 a.m. Tuesday for the south Washington coast
  • A coastal flood advisory in effect until noon Tuesday for low lying portions of southwest Washington
  • A flood warning in effect through Tuesday afternoon for the Willapa River
  • A flood watch in effect through Tuesday evening for the Naselle River
The NWS also notified the PCEMA office that another potential storm may develop Wednesday night and Thursday, November 18th-19th. It is expected to look much like the storm we are experiencing now. Stay tuned this week for more information on this weather system.

Precautionary/Preparedness actions:

Residents are cautioned to watch for water over roadways and to refrain from driving through flood waters. At 22’ flood waters from the Willapa River will be widespread with numerous road closures.

For the most up to date weather information from the NWS please visit http://www.weather.gov/portland. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the southwest Washington area.

# # #

Wind Storm, High Surf Conditions, Heavy Rain, and Potential Flooding

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) office participated in a weather briefing this afternoon with the National Weather Service (NWS), Portland office. The wind storm that has hit southwest Washington will continue for the next 12-18 hours with the strongest winds expected between 7:00 p.m. and midnight tonight. Sustained winds of 35-50 mph and gusts up to 75 mph are expected. However, on the open beaches and headlands, sustained winds of 50-60 mph with gusts up to 90 mph are likely. During the storm, large seas will make for dangerous beach conditions with waves pummeling the surf zone which will only be exacerbated by the prominence of the enhanced lunar tidal cycle. Seas are projected to reach 23-27 feet. Minor tidal overflow is expected to occur along low lying portions of the southwest Washington through Tuesday. The greatest possibility of tidal overflow will be in and around the City of Raymond during high tide around 1:00 p.m. Tuesday. Two to four inches of rain are possible in the Willapa Hills Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning. Rivers of most concern for minor flooding include the Willapa and the Naselle. The Willapa River is expected to approach flood stage and the Naselle River is anticipated to reach bank full. The NWS has issued: · A high wind warning in effect until 10:00 a.m. Tuesday for southwest Washington · A high surf advisory in effect until 10:00 a.m. Tuesday for the south Washington coast · A coastal flood advisory in effect until noon Tuesday for low lying portions of southwest Washington · A flood watch in effect through Tuesday evening for the south Washington coast The NWS also notified the PCEMA office that another potential storm may develop Wednesday night and Thursday, November 18th-19th. It is expected to look much like the storm we are experiencing now. Stay tuned this week for more information on this weather system. Precautionary/Preparedness actions: A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage. Winds may gust close to 90 mph along the immediate coastal headlands and beaches tonight and speeds near these values can cause power outages and downed trees. A high surf advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area producing rip currents and localized beach erosion. A coastal flood advisory indicates that onshore winds and tides will combine to generate flooding of low areas along the shore. A flood watch means there is potential for river flooding based on current forecasts. You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible flood warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop. For the most up to date weather information from the NWS please visit http://www.weather.gov/portland. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the southwest Washington area.

High Surf and Coastal Flood Advisories Now in Effect

South Bend, Washington – A high surf advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) and is in effect until 10:00 a.m. Tuesday for the south Washington Coast. A strong Pacific storm will generate large seas and high winds through early Tuesday. Astronomical tides will be near their monthly maximum due to the new moon. Storm surge associated with the large developing offshore low pressure system will likely be in the one to three foot range tonight and Tuesday. Locally, heavy rain from the Willapa Hills will be channeling into Willapa Bay further raising the level in the bay. During the storm, large seas will make for dangerous beach conditions with waves pummeling the surf zone which will only be exacerbated by the prominence of the enhanced lunar tidal cycle. The NWS also issued a coastal flood advisory in effect until noon Tuesday. Minor tidal overflow is expected to occur along low lying portions of the south Washington Coast through Tuesday. During the high tides around noon today and 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, the greatest possibility of tidal overflow will be in and around the City of Raymond. Precautionary/Preparedness actions: A high surf advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area producing rip currents and localized beach erosion. A coastal flood advisory indicates that onshore winds and tides will combine to generate flooding of low areas along the shore. For the most up to date weather information from the NWS please visit http://www.weather.gov/portland. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the southwest Washington area.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

High Wind Warning in Effect Through Tuesday

South Bend, Washington – A series of low pressure systems will arrive on the Pacific County coast between Sunday evening and Tuesday. A High Wind Warning has been issued for the coastal areas of Pacific County for later Sunday night and early Monday with additional rounds Monday and Tuesday. Later Sunday evening south winds will strengthen to 25 – 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph on the open beaches and headlands. Late Sunday night winds will increase with gusts between 50 – 60 mph, lasting through Monday morning. Gusts of 65 – 80 are expected on the open beaches and headlands Monday morning. The strongest winds will strike the coast on Monday night and into Tuesday morning. A very deep low pressure system will develop late Monday and pass offshore of the coast Monday night as the system moves towards British Columbia. Expect south winds to increase on Monday evening with sustained winds of 40 – 50 mph with gust of 65 – 80 mph. Open beaches and headland gust may reach as high as 85 – 95 mph. Winds are expected to ease early Tuesday. One to three inches of rain is expected with this series of wind storms. These events will however, arrive along with some of the highest tides of the month. Due to the low pressure and wind, the tidal anomaly is expected to reach as high as three feet. Downtown Raymond businesses and residents are urged to prepare for flooding during high tides. All Pacific County residents are urged to prepare for possible power outages by checking flashlights, batteries, firewood, and generators. Plan to stay indoors and away from potential hazards such as trees and power lines.

High Wind Warning Issued for Sunday, Monday & Tuesday, Nov 15 - 17, 2009

A High Wind Warning has been issued for the south Washington Coast for later Sunday night and early Monday with another round early Monday afternoon.


Later this evening south winds will strengthen to 25 – 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph on the open beaches and headlands. Tonight winds will increase with gusts between 50 – 60 mph, lasting through Monday morning. Gusts of 65 – 80 are expected on the open beaches and headlands Monday morning.
The strongest winds will strike the coast on Monday night. A very deep low pressure system will develop offshore late Monday and pass offshore of the coast Monday night as the system moves towards British Columbia.

Expect south winds to increase on Monday evening with sustained winds of 40 – 50 mph with gust of 65 – 80 mph. Open beaches and headland gust may reach as high as 85 – 95 mph. Winds are expected to ease early Tuesday.

Residents are urged to prepare for possible power outages by checking flashlights, batteries, firewood, and generators. Plan to stay indoors and away from potential hazards such as trees and power lines.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Amateur Radio Seminar Series

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Amateur Radio Club is hosting a series of seminars covering a wide variety of amateur radio topics. The series focuses on real-world practical knowledge. Anyone interested may attend. Neither club membership nor an amateur radio license is required. Upcoming seminars include: · Internet Radio Linking Project · Emergency Power · Packet Radio · Ethics, Jargon, and the Rules · All About BeachNet · HF Basics and the Radio · The HF Antenna and Getting RF into it · HF CW DX and Contesting There is no cost to attend and each seminar will last approximately two hours. For complete details and seminar descriptions please visit www.qsl.net/w7rdr/seminars.

Monday, November 9, 2009

National Weather Service Issues High Wind Warning

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service, Portland Office notified the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency of a high wind warning effective until noon today for the headlands of the south Washington coast.


A brief period of strong winds 30 to 40 mph, with gusts to 60 mph are expected ahead of a strong Pacific cold front. The winds are expected to decrease by noon once the cold front moves onshore.

A high wind warning means that a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Sustained winds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage and residents are encouraged to be personally prepared for exacerbating events such as possible power outages or tree fall.

Friday, November 6, 2009

High Surf Warning Through Saturday

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland notified the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency this morning that a high surf warning is in effect until 4 pm PST Saturday. Large swell generated by a storm in the Gulf of Alaska will build today and continue through Saturday, bringing dangerous surf conditions to the coast. The largest seas are expected to arrive this afternoon when 25 to 30 foot swell will begin to impact the coast. These waves will be very energetic as they move in the surf zone, pummeling the coast with large breakers as they move onshore. Heavy debris, such as logs, will be thrown around by the large waves making the surf zone especially hazardous. Hazards from high surf conditions along the shoreline will be enhanced during the high tides around 3 to 4 pm in the afternoon today and Saturday. The high tide during these times periods will cause the large waves to impact higher portions of the beaches than at other times of the day. Precautionary/Preparedness actions: A high surf warning means that dangerously high surf will batter beaches in the advisory area, producing deadly rip currents and minor beach erosion. It can be very dangerous to venture near the coast under high surf conditions. People have been swept off rocks and jetties and drown while observing high surf. Stay well back from the water’s edge and be alert for the exceptionally high wave. For the most up to date weather information from the NWS please visit http://www.weather.gov/portland. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the southwest Washington area.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

H1N1 Community Clinics by Appointment Only

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Health Department is planning to schedule H1N1 community clinics each Monday from 1-5 pm beginning November 9th. Clinics will be by appointment only. The clinics will be for those in the five priority groups according to the Center for Disease Control. The number of doses available will be limited and may vary from week to week depending on what is received from the manufacturer. North County Clinic Appointments – Please call (360) 875-9300 x2639 Monday-Friday between 9-12 and 1-4 Location – Pacific County Annex, 1216 West Robert Bush Drive, South Bend South County Clinic Appointments – Please call (360) 642-9349 (option 2) Monday-Thursday between 9-12 and 1-4 Location – South County Administration Facility, 7013 Sandridge Road, Long Beach To be eligible for the H1N1 vaccine you must be one of the following: · Pregnant · Health care or emergency service personnel with direct patient care · Household contact of an infant less than 6 months of age (parent, sibling, daycare provider) · Age 4-24 years · Age 25 through 64 with underlying health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza AND: · Be healthy at the time of vaccination and have no fever or respiratory illness · Have no sensitivity or allergy to foods (gelatin, eggs/egg protein), medication (gentamycin, Neosporin, polymyxin B, vaccine component), or have had a serious reaction to influenza vaccination in the past · Have not received antiviral medication for influenza (tamiflu, relenza) in the past two days Children under the age of 4 will not be vaccinated in these clinics. Please contact your private provider to have your child age 6 months to 4 years vaccinated. By late November the Pacific County Health Department hopes to be able to provide vaccine to anyone that is interested in being vaccinated, regardless of age or underlying health condition. We also plan to schedule school based clinics when adequate amounts of vaccine becomes available. We appreciate the public’s patience and cooperation. The Pacific County Health Department is working hard to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible. We have provided a limited number of doses to private health care providers in our area and will continue to work with our providers to have vaccine available for use with their patients. If you need additional information about H1N1 influenza there is 24 hour information available in both English and Spanish at 888-703-4364. Information may also be obtained through the Washington State Department of Health website at www.doh.wa.gov/h1n1/.

National Weather Service Issues Coastal Weather Information

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service, Portland Office notified the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency of potential weather hazards that may affect the coastal areas over the next 24 hours. A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect from Noon to 4:00 p.m. PST Thursday. A Coastal Flood Advisory means that there may be minor tidal overflow along low lying sections of the southwest coast, including the City of Raymond. A high tide of 10.3 feet with an anomaly of approximately one foot will bring the high tide level to 11.1 feet on Thursday afternoon. This may result in the closure of lanes of State Route 101, in the central Raymond area. The National Weather Service indicated that minor flooding is expected near the city. Tides will be lower at subsequent high tides. Residents should consult local tide tables for times and heights within their community. This event will likely be accompanied by a Pacific frontal system with high winds increasing Thursday morning through Thursday evening. The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Watch indicating that southeast winds will increase Wednesday evening reaching 20 – 30 mph around midnight as the front approaches the coast. By Thursday morning winds will shift to the south with sustained winds increasing to 35 mph with gusts to 50 mph. Gusts to 60 mph are possible on the beaches and headlands from mid-morning Thursday, peaking Thursday afternoon as the front approaches landfall.

Friday, October 23, 2009

H1N1 Clinic for Pregnant Women

South Bend, Washington – The H1N1 vaccine will be given to pregnant women residing in North Pacific County on Thursday, October 29, 2009 from 9 am to 11 am. The clinic will be held in the Pacific County Public Safety Building (behind the Courthouse) in South Bend. No appointment is necessary. The vaccine being offered is thimerosal free and is therefore safe for pregnant women. There is no charge for the vaccine and again, this clinic is for pregnant women only. You may call (360) 875-9343 if you need additional information. A H1N1 clinic will also be offered in South Pacific County. For date and location information for that clinic please call (360) 642-9349. If you need additional information about H1N1 influenza there is 24 hour information available in both English and Spanish at 888-703-4364. Information may also be obtained through the Washington State Department of Health website at www.doh.wa.gov/h1n1/.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

NOAA Weather Radio Program

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency is participating in a NOAA Weather Radio Program. The program is designed to educate the public on the warnings and alerts that may be issued from the National Weather Service. All residents of the Tokeland Peninsula and the North Cove/Grayland area are welcome to attend. There will be two sessions offered on October 29, 2009: · 12:30 pm - Grange Hall, North Willapa Grange #947 3198 State Route 105, Grayland · 5:30 pm - Shoalwater Bay Tribal Center 2373 Old Tokeland Road, Tokeland Additional information and program applications can be obtained at www.co.pacific.wa.us/pcema or in person at the Shoalwater Bay Tribal Center or the Tokeland Post Office. Program participants will receive important information about tsunamis, how to make a home preparedness kit, and NOAA weather radios will be given to the first 200 residents that meet specific income levels. Local amateur radio operators will be on-site to assist with radio programming. NOAA weather radios provide warning for multiple natural and man-made hazards but are especially important to obtain a tsunami warning while indoors. Additional NOAA Weather Radio information is available at http://www.emd.wa.gov/. The NOAA Weather Radio Program is coordinated among the Washington State Emergency Management Division, the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, the Shoalwater Bay Tribe, and the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency.

Pacific County Health Holds H1N1 Clinic

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Public Health and Human Services Department held a H1N1 vaccination clinic for emergency medical services, home health, and long term care providers. The vaccine was available in the form of both nasal spray and the “flu shot.” Vaccine has also been distributed to local hospitals and doctor’s offices to vaccinate their staff. It is anticipated that sometime in early November there will be plenty of vaccine available to provide it to anyone who would like to be vaccinated, including those over age 65. Those at highest risk and our health care providers are being vaccinated first. The Health Department is working with local providers and partners to have vaccine available for the general public as soon as it is received. As a reminder the groups recommended to receive the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine include: · Pregnant women · Household contacts and caregivers of children younger than 6 months of age · Healthcare and emergency medical service personnel with direct patient contact · All people from 6 months through 24 years of age · Persons aged 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza Influenza like illnesses have already been reported in the community in both children and adults. The Health Department would like to remind you to protect yourself against the flu. Please continue to use common-sense measures: stay home if you are sick, avoid close contact, and practice hand washing. As always, persons with a respiratory illness (fever of over 100°, cough, and/or sore throat) should stay home from work or school to avoid spreading influenza and other respiratory illnesses to others. Here are some tips to keep from spreading your germs to others, and to keep from catching someone else’s germs. Keep your germs to yourself: · Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose. · Discard used tissues in the trash as soon as you can. · Always wash your hands after sneezing, blowing your nose, or coughing, or after touching used tissues or handkerchiefs. Wash hands often if you are sick. · Use warm water and soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizers to wash your hands. · Try to stay home if you have a cough and fever. · See your doctor as soon as you can if you have a cough and fever, and follow their instructions. Take medicine as prescribed and get lots of rest. · If asked, use face masks provided in your doctor’s office or clinic’s waiting room. Follow office or clinic staff instructions to help stop the spread of germs. Keep the germs away: · Wash your hands before eating, or touching your eyes, nose or mouth. · Wash your hands after touching anyone who is sneezing, coughing or blowing their nose. · Don’t share things like towels, lipstick, toys, or anything else that might be contaminated with respiratory germs. · Don’t share food, utensils or beverage containers with others. If you need additional information about H1N1 influenza there is 24 hour information available in both English and Spanish at 888-703-4364. You may also contact the Health Department at (360) 875-9343 or (360) 642-9349. Information may also be obtained through the Washington State Department of Health website at www.doh.wa.gov/h1n1/.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Possible Freezing Temperatures Coming This Weekend

The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement – Colder nights with possible freezing temperatures coming this weekend in southwest Washington and northwest Oregon. An early Autumn modified arctic air mass is descending into central and eastern Washington today. This dry and cooler air will set the stage for the coolest minimum temperatures of the season into early next week. Nighttime and early morning minimum temperatures could fall well into the 20s the next three or four nights. At this point the coldest nights look to be Saturday and Sunday nights. The one mitigating factor in some areas will be the strength and duration of the east winds. Areas where the winds remain throughout the night will tend to stay above freezing. Thus, some nights could see 15-20 degree ranges between the coldest and warmest areas and will make pinpointing low temperatures difficult. Precautionary/Preparedness actions: If you have plants susceptible to the cold be sure to take any necessary steps to protect them. You will likely want to disconnect outdoor hoses form faucets as well. For the most up to date weather information from the NWS please visit http://www.weather.gov/portland. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the southwest Washington area.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pacific County Medical Reserve Corps Volunteer Orientation

Two sessions of volunteer orientation will be held in October for the Pacific County Medical Reserve Corps. The first will be Monday, October 19, 2009 in the large conference room at the Pacific County Administration Facility in Long Beach. The second session is Monday, October 26, 2009 in the Commissioner's meeting room at the Courthouse Annex in South Bend. Both sessions will be from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm and dinner will be served. To RSVP or for questions please contact Annie Merritt at (360) 481-2609 or email pacificMRC@gmail.com.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

National Weather Service Uncovers Error in Posting of Tsunami Advisory

Pacific County has been informed that the National Weather Service website has posted information in error regarding the Tsunami Advisory resulting from a M8.0 earthquake that occurred of the coast of American Samoa. The NWS website http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/ indicates that the West Coast Alaska Tsunami Warning Center has issued a Tsunami Advisory for the coast of Pacific County. This is an error in geo-coding that cannot be corrected at this time. Based upon the best available forecast information, there WILL NOT be issuing a Tsunami Advisory for the coast of Washington State, British Columbia, or Alaska. A TSUNAMI ADVISORY MEANS THAT A TSUNAMI CAPABLE OF PRODUCING STRONG CURRENTS OR WAVES DANGEROUS TO PERSONS IN OR VERY NEAR THE WATER IS IMMINENT OR EXPECTED. SIGNIFICANT WIDESPREAD INUNDATION IS NOT EXPECTED FOR AREAS UNDER AN ADVISORY. CURRENTS MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO SWIMMERS... BOATS... AND COASTAL STRUCTURES AND MAY CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL HOURS AFTER THE INITIAL WAVE ARRIVAL. Wave heights for CA and OR may be up to 55 cm (appx. 1.8 feet). Projected heights for WA at Neah Bay and Toke Point are forecast to be smaller, around 6 cm (appx. 0.19 ft.) The arrival time for the West Coast is expected to be approximately 6 hours from now around 9 pm PDT and arrival in Hawaii will occur within 2 hours.

Update from West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

Pacific County has received an update on the M8.0 earthquake that occurred of the coast of American Samoa. According to Paul Whitmore, Director of the West Coast Alaska Tsunami Warning Center, a tsunami was generated and reports indicated a wave of +/- 1 meter (about 3 ft.) struck the coast of American Samoa. The WCATWC has issued a Tsunami Advisory for the coast of California and Oregon. Based upon the best available forecast information, they WILL NOT be issuing a Tsunami Advisory for the coast of Washington State, British Columbia, or Alaska. A TSUNAMI ADVISORY MEANS THAT A TSUNAMI CAPABLE OF PRODUCING STRONG CURRENTS OR WAVES DANGEROUS TO PERSONS IN OR VERY NEAR THE WATER IS IMMINENT OR EXPECTED. SIGNIFICANT WIDESPREAD INUNDATION IS NOT EXPECTED FOR AREAS UNDER AN ADVISORY. CURRENTS MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO SWIMMERS... BOATS... AND COASTAL STRUCTURES AND MAY CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL HOURS AFTER THE INITIAL WAVE ARRIVAL. Wave heights for CA and OR may be up to 55 cm (appx. 1.8 feet). Projected heights for WA at Neah Bay and Toke Point are forecast to be smaller, around 6 cm (appx. 0.19 ft.) The arrival time for the West Coast is expected to be approximately 6 hours from now around 9 pm PDT and arrival in Hawaii will occur within 2 hours.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

NOAA Weather Radio Promotion

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency is participating in a NOAA Weather Radio Promotion on Saturday, September 26, 2009, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Customers will be able to purchase a NOAA weather radio and have it programmed on site by amateur radio operators, other volunteers, or staff. Participating locations in Pacific County are: North Pacific County o Bud’s Lumber, 220 W Robert Bush Drive, South Bend o Dennis Company TV & Appliance, 124 4th Street, Raymond o Radio Shack, 704 Willapa Place, Raymond South Pacific County o Dennis Company, 201 N Pacific, Long Beach o Jack’s Country Store, 26006 Highway 103, Ocean Park o Wirkkala Radio Shack, 4912 Pacific Avenue, Long Beach Weather radios alert local residents to many immediate, life-threatening hazards, like weather, tsunamis, volcanoes, hazardous releases, and other dangerous events. Without a weather radio, a critical emergency warning message from local emergency authorities could be missed. NOAA Weather Radio is a service of the National Weather Service, a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Dept of Commerce. NOAA Weather Radio is the voice of the National Weather Service, broadcasting the latest area weather forecasts and conditions 24 hours a day. Additional NOAA Weather Radio information is available at http://www.emd.wa.gov. The NOAA Weather Radio Promotion is coordinated between the Washington State Emergency Management Division, Grays Harbor Public Utility District, retailers and local businesses, and the Washington coastal counties of Pacific, Grays Harbor, Clallam, and Jefferson to promote National Preparedness and NOAA Weather Radio Awareness Month.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pacific County EDC Offers Business Disaster Preparedness Conference

You've worked hard to build your business. Don’t get caught unprepared! Are you prepared if your suppliers cannot deliver, your markets are inaccessible, or basic needs like water, sewer and electricity are unavailable? If not, you need to join the Pacific County EDC for “Ready, Respond, Recover,” on Wednesday, October 14, 2009. This valuable conference will provide Pacific and Wahkiakum County businesses with hands-on plan development coaching and critical information about: • Securing your facilities • Communicating with customers • Access to financial resources The conference will be held at the Chautauqua Lodge in Long Beach on October 14 from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, with plan coaching sessions after. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Registration is only $25 if you sign-up before September 18, and $35 thereafter. A portion of each registration fee will be donated to local food banks. For more information, contact the Pacific County EDC at 360-875-9330 (North County) or 360-642-9330 (South County), or visit: http://www.pacificedc.org/conference.htm.

Mitigation Plan Available For Public Review

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Hazard Mitigation Plan is near complete and is currently available for public review at the Timberland Regional Library in Raymond, South Bend, Naselle, Ilwaco, and Ocean Park or on the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) website at www.co.pacific.wa.us/pcema. The review period will end on September 30, 2009.

Pacific County and its respective municipalities have been working together the past 18 months to prepare the multi-jurisdictional all hazard mitigation plan. The purpose of this plan is to identify and assess our community's disaster risks and determine how to best minimize or manage those risks.

The goals of hazard mitigation planning include:

  1. Contribute to the development of a long-term, comprehensive mitigation program by funding measures designed to achieve the goals of the state hazard mitigation plan;
  2. Assist local governments in avoiding or lessening the impact of natural hazards through safer building practices and the improvement of existing structures and supporting infrastructure.

States and communities use the planning process to set short and long-range mitigation goals and objectives. In recognition of the importance of planning, counties with an approved mitigation plan in effect at the time of disaster may receive Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for planned projects. Jurisdictions lacking a hazard mitigation plan are not eligible for HMGP funds.

Citizens with questions or comments should contact the PCEMA office at (360) 875-9340 or (360) 642-9340.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Another Hot Spell Expected

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Special Weather Statement. One more hot spell is on tap for Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon this week. Today, afternoon temperatures over the inland areas are expected to approach 90 degrees. The hot spell will continue Tuesday with afternoon highs over the interior approaching 95 with coastal temperatures close to 80. Wednesday currently looks to be the hottest day of this stretch with interior areas possibly flirting with 100 degrees. Precautionary/Preparedness actions: Remember to drink plenty of clear liquids and stay hydrated this week. Avoid extra exertion during the heat of the day and use plenty of sun screen if you are outside. For the most up to date weather information from the NWS please visit http://www.weather.gov/portland. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the southwest Washington area.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pacific County is Preparing for Flu Increase this Fall

South Bend, Washington – We have not seen the last of the swine flu that appeared this spring in Mexico and spread throughout world. Cases of pandemic H1N1 influenza, the new flu virus, have dropped in number over the last few weeks in Western Washington, but are still occurring at a low rate. Flu is quite unusual during summertime and predicts that the flu season this year may well be a tough one. As of July 24th, Washington State has reported 658 confirmed cases and 7 deaths from H1N1 influenza since April. Of those, 122 resulted in hospitalizations. Most of those cases have been in urban areas; however, Pacific County has had a small share with at least one seriously ill person requiring transfer out of the county for ongoing hospital care. In June the World Health Organization declared a “pandemic” meaning that there is sustained spread of H1N1 influenza virus in many countries on multiple continents. Currently countries in the wintertime of the southern hemisphere are experiencing the most cases. The H1N1 flu is expected to return to us this fall and winter with full force. School absences and need for medical care are expected to be high. The most severe H1N1 influenza infections are striking people in younger age groups. Older people appear to be relatively spared probably because they had exposure to a similar influenza type that circulated seasonally in the population prior to 1957 giving them partial immunity. Unfortunately, since spring, hospitalizations and deaths have predominantly been in less than 30 year olds. Influenza is spread by droplets sneezed or coughed by an infected individual. The droplets are either inhaled by a susceptible person in close proximity, or settle on surfaces later to be picked up on hands and transferred to the nose or eyes. Transmission is interrupted by covering coughs and careful, frequent hand washing. Hand sanitizers also work. Masks may be of some benefit, particularly when placed on infected coughing patients to protect those around them. Initial symptoms are usually cough and abrupt high fever perhaps with sore throat or nasal congestion, and, particularly in children, maybe nausea and vomiting. Complications in severe cases are usually in the lungs with pneumonia, but can sometimes be in the brain with a meningitis-like illness. When influenza severely attacks the lungs, often with associated bacterial infections, respiratory failure may lead to the need for mechanical ventilation or even to death. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) are two drugs that can be used to treat H1N1 infection, although rare cases of resistance have been identified in Asia and Europe. There are currently good supplies of both drugs available commercially and a reserve supply provided by the federal government under secure storage in Pacific County and other counties throughout Washington. The drugs are recommended only in high risk patients, those most likely to develop severe disease. Ideally they should be used in the first couple of days of the onset of illness. High risk groups are those under age five, pregnant women, chronically ill people with immune suppression, and those over age 65. Vaccine for H1N1 has been developed and as of the end of July is being tested for safety and efficacy. It is expected to be available this fall in small amounts with increasing supplies coming in over the course of the influenza season. Unlike the usual seasonal flu vaccine (which will also be available this fall), all the H1N1 vaccine this year will be distributed through public health agencies, not through usual commercial supply routes. The initial supplies will be prioritized to those at most risk of infection and/or most at risk for complications to likely include school age children, pregnant women, and front line health care workers. As over time supplies become readily available, vaccine will be offered to the public at large, just as seasonal influenza vaccine routinely is. Still to be clarified is whether one or two doses will be required initially. Public recommendations will be to get your routine flu shot this fall, and when available, to also get your H1N1 influenza vaccination(s). Discuss with your health care provider as to whether you fall into one of the priority risk groups. One tactic actively being considered is whether to vaccinate children at school. That would be voluntary, requiring parental permission, and will depend upon whether it makes sense when vaccine supplies become sufficient. Pacific County Public Health, both county hospitals, medical care providers, and Shoalwater Bay Tribe along with hospitals and public health departments statewide are developing plans to deal with the anticipated autumn uptick in influenza. Those include anticipating increased patient loads, providing vaccinations as vaccine becomes available, and judiciously using antiviral medications. The Pacific County Health and Human Services Department welcomes medically skilled volunteers to help with these efforts. If you think you can help, call the South Bend office at (360) 875-9343. As the flu season approaches and progresses, practice covering your cough, washing your hands, and staying home from work when you are sick.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Fire Weather Watch Sunday Through Tuesday

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has issued a fire weather watch which is in effect from Sunday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon. An upper level low pressure system will remain off of the California coast through early next week. The hot temperatures during the last week have dried out fuels to critical levels across the area. An unstable southeast to south flow aloft will bring the necessary ingredients into place for the development of scattered thunderstorms Sunday across northwest Oregon and southwest Washington. The combination of lightning and critically dry fuels will result in an elevated risk for multiple ignitions. The highest potential for significant lightning producing thunderstorms will be Sunday and Monday afternoon and evenings. However, most days through midweek have some chance of getting thunderstorms. Any thunderstorms that do develop should be high based with little precipitation and a lot of lightning. Also, these type of storms are capable of producing gusty winds. Storms should progressively become more wet by mid week. A fire weather watch means that critical fire weather conditions are forecast to occur. For the most up to date weather information from the NWS please visit http://www.weather.gov/portland. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the southwest Washington area.

Monthly AHAB Siren System Test

The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency’s (PCEMA) All Hazard Alert Broadcast (AHAB) siren system next scheduled monthly test will be Monday, August 3rd at noon. It is recommended that residents of Pacific County mark their calendars for the monthly AHAB siren system test. The test is currently scheduled for the first Monday of every month at noon. The current procedure for the monthly test is for the sirens to sound the Westminster Chimes for 10 seconds followed by a 15 second verbal message stating “The following is a test of the siren warning system. It is only a test. This is a test of the siren warning system. If this had been a real emergency you should tune your radio to your local radio station or listen to this system for further instructions. This was only a test.” In actual events, the AHAB sirens will sound a constant tone for three continuous minutes, and may be followed by a verbal message. Both the Westminster chimes and the actual warning tone can be heard by visiting the PCEMA website at www.co.pacific.wa.us/pcema and clicking on the Tsunami tab. There are currently ten AHAB sirens installed along the Long Beach Peninsula located in the areas of Ilwaco, Seaview, Long Beach, Surfside, and Ocean Park. There is also an AHAB siren located in Bay Center. Sirens are not designed to be heard indoors and the sound may also be impacted by adverse weather. Residents are encouraged to have alternate methods of warning such as NOAA weather radios, which are tested weekly and can be heard indoors. Residents with questions or concerns may contact the PCEMA office at (360) 875-9340 or (360) 642-9340.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Excessive Heat Warning Cancelled

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has cancelled the excessive heat warning for the areas of the coast and the Willapa Hills. An increase in onshore flow has caused temperatures to fall this morning to levels about 10 degrees cooler than Wednesday morning across most of the coast range. The enhanced marine influence will help hold temperatures down somewhat today, with high temperatures in the area expected to be generally in the 80s and lower 90s. While these temperatures are still above normal they represent a significant drop from the triple digit heat of the past couple days. For the most up to date weather information from the NWS please visit http://www.weather.gov/portland. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the southwest Washington area.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cooling Station Available

The South Bend City Hall will be acting as a cooling station during this excessive heat. If you need to cool off you’re welcome to stop by during business hours between 7:30 am and 4:00 pm. They also have cold drinking water available. If you know of other cooling station locations please contact the PCEMA office at (360) 875-9340.

Heat Wave Continues

The National Weather Service (NWS) excessive heat warning remains in effect until 10 pm PDT Thursday. Today is expected to be another hot day with temperatures in the 105 to 110 degree range for the lowland. The coast range and cascades will also be hot with temperatures reaching 95 to 105 degrees. The weather will be less hot on Thursday, however, maximum temperatures will still be near 100 degrees. In addition to the hot afternoons, little relief from the heat is expected overnight. With little to no cooling influence from the ocean and a somewhat humid air mass in place, nights will remain quite uncomfortable away from the coast. Precautionary/Preparedness actions: An excessive heat warning means that a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures will occur. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are likely. Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. For the most up to date weather information from the NWS please visit http://www.weather.gov/portland. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the southwest Washington area.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Heat Wave Through Independence Day

From the National Weather Service: A heat advisory now in effect until 8 pm PDT Saturday... Warm weather will continue through Independence Day with valley temperatures reaching the mid 90s. Temperatures in the coast range and cascade foothills will also be quite warm with readings in the mid 80s to lower 90s. At risk populations can be especially vulnerable to heat related illnesses during episodes of hot weather. Drink plenty of fluids and try to stay of the sun during the hottest part of the day. Precautionary/preparedness actions... A heat advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is expected. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible. Drink plenty of fluids...stay in an air-conditioned room...stay out of the sun...and check up on relatives and neighbors.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mark Your Calendars for the Monthly AHAB Siren Test

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency’s (PCEMA) All Hazard Alert Broadcast (AHAB) siren system next scheduled monthly test will be Monday, July 6th at noon. It is recommended that residents of Pacific County mark their calendars for the monthly AHAB siren system test. The test is currently scheduled for the first Monday of every month at noon. The current procedure for the monthly test is for the sirens to sound the Westminster Chimes for 10 seconds followed by a 15 second verbal message stating “The following is a test of the siren warning system. It is only a test. This is a test of the siren warning system. If this had been a real emergency you should tune your radio to your local radio station or listen to this system for further instructions. This was only a test.” In actual events, the AHAB sirens will sound a constant tone for three continuous minutes, and may be followed by a verbal message. Both the Westminster chimes and the actual warning tone can be heard by visiting the PCEMA website at www.co.pacific.wa.us/pcema and clicking on the Tsunami tab. There are currently ten AHAB sirens installed along the Long Beach Peninsula located in the areas of Ilwaco, Seaview, Long Beach, Surfside, and Ocean Park. There is also an AHAB siren located in Bay Center. Sirens are not designed to be heard indoors and the sound may also be impacted by adverse weather. Residents are encouraged to have alternate methods of warning such as NOAA weather radios, which are tested weekly and can be heard indoors. Residents with questions or concerns may contact the PCEMA office at (360) 875-9340 or (360) 642-9340.

Monday, June 15, 2009

EOC Meeting Room Closed for Community Use

South Bend, Washington – Effective July 31, 2009, the Pacific County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will no longer be utilized as a meeting room. The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) intends to keep the EOC ready for activation 24/7 in the event of an emergency. Having the EOC operationally ready will enable testing of phones and computer connections on a regular basis as well as create functionality for training and exercise. It will result in an overall safer work environment. Alternative meeting space is located at the Pacific County Annex where a large meeting room and two smaller conference rooms are available for use. Please contact General Administration at (360) 875-9334 for scheduling. If you have questions or need additional information you may contact the PCEMA office at (360) 875-9340 or (360) 642-9340.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Swine Flu Confirmed in Pacific County

South Bend, Washington – Swine flu has reached Pacific County with one case being confirmed in the north end of the county. While nationwide influenza like illness surveillance is trending downward, localized outbreaks are ongoing and it's likely that such outbreaks will continue over the summer. The Pacific County Public Health and Human Services Department is continuing to monitor the situation in the area and will provide updates as necessary. The Pacific County Public Health and Human Services Department would like to remind you to protect yourself against the flu. Please continue to use common-sense measures: stay home if you are sick, avoid close contact, and practice hand hygiene. As always, persons with a respiratory illness (fever of over 100°, cough, and/or sore throat) should stay home from work or school to avoid spreading influenza and other respiratory illnesses to others. Here are some tips to keep from spreading your germs to others, and to keep from catching someone else’s germs. Keep your germs to yourself: · Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose. · Discard used tissues in the trash as soon as you can. · Always wash your hands after sneezing, blowing your nose, or coughing, or after touching used tissues or handkerchiefs. Wash hands often if you are sick. · Use warm water and soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizers to wash your hands. · Try to stay home if you have a cough and fever. · See your doctor as soon as you can if you have a cough and fever, and follow their instructions. Take medicine as prescribed and get lots of rest. · If asked, use face masks provided in your doctor’s office or clinic’s waiting room. Follow office or clinic staff instructions to help stop the spread of germs. Keep the germs away: · Wash your hands before eating, or touching your eyes, nose or mouth. · Wash your hands after touching anyone who is sneezing, coughing or blowing their nose. · Don’t share things like towels, lipstick, toys, or anything else that might be contaminated with respiratory germs. · Don’t share food, utensils or beverage containers with others. If you need additional information about swine flu there is 24 hour information available in both English and Spanish at 888-703-4363. You may also contact the Pacific County Public Health and Human Services Department at (360) 875-9343 or (360) 642-9349. Updated information will be posted on the county website as it becomes available at www.co.pacific.wa.us. Information may also be obtained through the Washington State Department of Health website at www.doh.wa.gov/swineflu or the Center for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu.