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.