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

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.