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

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

High Wind Warning Issued for Thursday

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has issued a high wind warning which is in effect from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Thursday for the South Washington Coast.  

Strong south winds will develop Thursday morning and continue through Thursday afternoon. South winds will rise to 30 to 40 mph with gusts to around 60 mph near beaches. Tree branches may break off and locally obstruct roadways and power outages may occur.   

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. 

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 22, 2011

NWS Issues Flood Warning

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has issued a flood warning for the following rivers in Pacific County:

·        Willapa River: flood warning is in effect from this evening to Wednesday afternoon. The river is forecast to rise above flood stage around 9:00 p.m. Tuesday and is expected to crest near 22.5 feet around 4:00 a.m. Wednesday. Expect widespread flooding. Historically, numerous roads are flooded with deep and swiftly moving water including Heckard Road and Highway 101. The magnitude of flooding on Highway 101 may be exacerbated by the high tide late Wednesday morning. 
·        Naselle River: flood warning is in effect from this evening to Wednesday morning. The river is forecast to crest just above flood stage around 10:00 p.m. Tuesday. Expect flooding in numerous lowland areas along the Naselle. Historically, water begins to surround homes along and near the river at this point. A few roads are flooded at this level including State Route 4.  

Three to five inches of rain have fallen over the Willapa Hills in Southwest Washington since Monday afternoon. An additional two to three inches of rain are expected Tuesday pushing rivers above flood stage.  

Please visit the NWS website at http://www.weather.gov/portland for the latest river stages and forecasts.  

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions:

Don’t drive into flooded areas. Avoid walking near riverbanks during high water.

Monday, November 21, 2011

High Wind Warning and Flood Watch Issued

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has issued a high wind warning which is in effect from 10:00 p.m. this evening to 10:00 p.m. Tuesday for the South Washington and North and Central Oregon Coasts.

South winds 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph are expected beginning late this evening and continuing through most of Tuesday. South winds 40 to 50 mph with gusts to 75 or 80 mph are expected near beaches and headlands. Winds are expected to begin decreasing late Tuesday afternoon on the South Washington Coast and during Tuesday evening for the North and Central Oregon Coasts.

A flood watch is in effect from Tuesday morning through Wednesday afternoon for portions of Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon. Three to six inches of rain is expected in the Willapa Hills and North Oregon Coast range potentially driving creeks and small rivers to flood Tuesday and possibly Wednesday. Significant rises are expected on larger coastal rivers but they are starting off low. 

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.

A flood watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts. Landslides and debris flows are possible during this flood event. People, structures and roads located below steep slopes, in canyons and near the mouths of canyons may be at serious risk from rapidly moving landslides.

Weather spotters are encouraged to report significant weather conditions according to standard operating procedures. 

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 16, 2011

High Wind Warning Issued

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has issued a high wind warning which is in effect from 10:00 a.m. this morning to 6:00 p.m. this evening near the beaches and headlands of South Washington and North Oregon coasts.  This replaces the high wind watch which was previously in effect. 

South winds increasing to 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 60 mph are expected for the headlands and open beaches.  Gusts to 45 are predicted for the coastal communities.  Strongest winds are expected in the afternoon.  Rain from 1” to 1.5” is expected with 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.  

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 1, 2011

Skywarn Spotter Training Offered November 8th in Ocean Park

The National Weather Service Portland Office will offer Skywarn Spotter Program training on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at the Pacific County Fire District 1 Ocean Park Fire Station Community Room, 26109 Ridge Ave, Ocean Park, WA 98640

The National Weather Service welcomes volunteers with an interest in severe weather spotting.  The Skywarn program is totally voluntary.  You will be trained on weather events similar to those listed in the Severe Weather Spotters Guide, and you may have the opportunity to call in several times a month depending on the weather pattern in your neck-of-the-woods. 

If you agree, the National Weather Service may occasionally call you for a ground truth as to what is actually happening near your home.  Most likely the phone call will be to confirm an element of potentially severe thunderstorms, like large hail, or damaging wind.  Other calls may be to verify heavy snowfall or peak wind speed associated with large winter storms. 

Additional information may be found at:  http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/skytraining.php

Friday, September 16, 2011

Free Public Event: Tsunami Train-the-Trainer

Contact: Natasha Nesbitt, AmeriCorps* VISTA Member
Pacific County Emergency Management Agency
(360) 875-9409 or nnesbitt@co.pacific.wa.us

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) will be offering a free six hour course for Tsunami Public Education on October 11, 2011 at Pacific County Fire District 1 (26110 Ridge Avenue, Ocean Park, WA 98640). The course will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. with a one hour midday break. Workbooks will also be provided.

Topics for the course include: near-and far-source tsunami events and scenarios, the Cascadia Subduction Zone, tsunami modeling, inundation mapping in Washington, local vulnerabilities, emergency management systems, human behavior to risk, and community training.

The Train-the-Trainer program aims to develop an educational curriculum to train qualified Tsunami public education instructors. It is a joint effort of the NOAA Center for Tsunami Research (NCTR) and the Washington State Emergency Management Division (WAEMD), and has been organized locally by PCEMA. Participants will gain skills and knowledge regarding: local hazards, risk reduction, tsunami response, and community assessment. The goal of this course is to better prepare the citizens and communities of Pacific County by developing and coordinating disaster preparedness public education programs.

All persons interested in participating must pre-register with Denise Rowlett by calling (360) 642-9338 or (360) 875-9338 or email drowlett@co.pacific.wa.us.

# # #

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Chill - It's Only a Drill

South Bend, Washington – On September 21, 2011 shortly after 10:15 a.m. the All Hazard Alert Broadcast (AHAB) sirens will be tested sounding both the standard test message and the actual warning tone.  The AHAB sirens in Pacific County and the other outer Washington coastal counties are being activated to conduct a true “end-to-end” test of the entire tsunami warning system.

This test will help familiarize residents with the sound made by the AHAB sirens during an actual tsunami warning.  It will differ from the routine monthly testing that occurs on the first Monday of each month since it will broadcast an audible siren wail tone for the full 3 minute warning instead of a chime tone; however, the voice message will be exactly the same as the routine test message.

NOAA weather radios set to receive the required monthly test will also activate during this test. 

This event is a key element in the Weather Radio Awareness Month campaign in Washington State as well as National Preparedness Month and earthquake and tsunami education efforts.

Citizens with questions or concerns may contact the Pacific County Emergency Management office at (360) 642-9340 or (360) 875-9340.  In addition, a post-test survey is available for residents at www.weather.gov/test. 


# # #

Friday, September 2, 2011

VISTA Member Selection

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) is pleased to announce Natasha Nesbitt as the selected AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) member.  Natasha will serve with PCEMA for 12 months to build and strengthen the local volunteer base by developing a strong public education outreach program to enhance disaster preparedness and response needs in Pacific County with a focus on low income and vulnerable communities.

PCEMA was awarded an AmeriCorps VISTA member position for the 2011-2012 program year.  The Washington Service Corps (WSC) handles all administrative benefits of the AmeriCorps VISTA program.  The WSC is administered by the Washington State Employment Security Department with federal funding provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 and incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993, VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for more than 40 years. 

VISTA members commit to serve full-time for a year at a non-profit organization or local government agency, working to strengthen community groups, build organizational capacity, help communities respond to disasters, and much more.  For more information about the AmeriCorps VISTA program visit http://www.americorps.gov/for_individuals/choose/vista.asp.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

It’s National Preparedness Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Stephanie Fritts, Director
Pacific County Emergency Management Agency
(360) 875-9340 or sfritts@co.pacific.wa.us
                                                                                                                                                           

South Bend, Washington – September 1st marks the start of National Preparedness Month.  In addition, this month will mark the ten year anniversary of 9/11.  The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency will remember those lost, honor our first responders and review our commitment to be prepared and to plan for emergencies. 

In looking back at recent emergency events affecting our community, the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency is interested in evaluating preparedness, and has prepared a short survey in regard to residents’ activities the night of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.  The survey is available online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PCEMASurvey.  It is our hope that you will take 10 minutes to answer the questions posed, as the answers will provide PCEMA direction in terms of community preparedness education needs. 

What does it mean to be prepared? For community groups and families it means households have an emergency supply kit so they can be self-reliant for a minimum of three days in case of an emergency, and that they have a plan to respond and reconnect after an emergency or disaster.  For information on creating a supply kit and writing a plan, visit www.ready.gov.

We're taking steps as an organization to become better prepared and informed, we urge you to take time to do the same at home and in our community.

# # #


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

911 Lines Operational Despite Telephone Line Failures

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2011 – 12:00 p.m.

Contact: Stephanie Fritts, Director
Pacific County Emergency Management Agency
(360) 875-9340 or sfritts@co.pacific.wa.us
                                                                                                                                                           

South Bend, Washington – Reports from south Pacific County Residents indicate that many areas of the county are experiencing both telephone and Internet failures this morning.  Some areas of the Long Beach Peninsula report being unable to dial out using landline telephone service while other areas remain able to do so.  The status of wireless telephone service by area of the Long Beach Peninsula is currently undetermined. 

Testing performed by the Pacific County 911 Center indicates that all 911 lines remain operational.  The cause of the failures is unknown.  Announcements informing emergency responders of the circumstances were made via the public safety radio frequencies. 

Please remember to use 911 in any situation where someone’s health, safety or property is threatened.  If there is no immediate risk to someone’s health, safety or property, you can use a non-emergency number to ask for help.

If you are reporting an emergency, make sure you are in a safe location before you call 911. If there is a fire in your home, evacuate your family and then call 911 from a safe location.   Listen carefully to the emergency operator, answer all questions, and wait for further instructions.

And always, know your location when calling 911. 

# # #

Friday, July 1, 2011

AmeriCorps VISTA Member Recruitment

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency has been awarded an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) member position for the 2011-2012 program year.  The VISTA member will support the Disaster Preparedness Public Education Outreach project. The member will build and strengthen the local volunteer base by developing a strong public education outreach program to enhance disaster preparedness and response needs in Pacific County with a focus on low income and vulnerable communities. 

VISTA program benefits include a living allowance, health coverage, childcare assistance if eligible, training, and choice of education award or end of service stipend.  Interested parties should apply online at http://www.americorps.gov/.  Applications will be accepted through July 31, 2011.  

AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 and incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993, VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for more than 40 years.   

VISTA members commit to serve full-time for a year at a non-profit organization or local government agency, working to strengthen community groups, build organizational capacity, help communities respond to disasters, and much more.   

For more information about the VISTA member position or project, contact Denise Rowlett at (360) 875-9338 or email drowlett@co.pacific.wa.us.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Amateur Radio Week

South Bend, Washington – June 20-26, 2011 is Amateur Radio Week in Washington State.  Amateur radio operators volunteer and contribute their time, skills, equipment, and energy to help those in need and deserve recognition and gratitude for the many services they provide.   

Fun, public service, and convenience are the distinguishing characteristic of amateur radio, also known as “ham” radio.  Although hams get involved for many reasons, they all have in common a basic knowledge of radio technology and operating principles, and pass an examination for the FCC license to operate on radio frequencies known as the "Amateur Bands."  For more information about amateur radio and licensing, visit http://www.qsl.net/w7rdr/ham.htm.

Nearly 60 hams volunteer for Pacific County Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES) to provide emergency communications for the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency during disasters.  RACES volunteers also serve as spotters during monthly AHAB siren tests, support NOAA weather radio promotions, and work on communications equipment.  For more information about becoming a Pacific County RACES volunteer contact Bob Cline, Emergency Services Volunteer at 360-665-4496 or visit http://www.wwa-district3-ares.org/pacific_county/.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pacific County Hams Prepare for Annual Field Day Communications Event

10:00 a.m.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Dick Lemke, President

Long Beach, Washington – The Pacific County Amateur Radio Club (PCARC) will participate for the 10th year in the annual North American Field Day operating event the weekend of June 25th.  Again this year the event will be held jointly at the Port of Peninsula and Morehead Park in Nahcotta.  This waterfront area has proven to be an excellent site for radio transmissions and is utilized through the generosity of both entities. 

ARRL Field Day is the highlight of the Pacific County Amateur Radio Club calendar.  Each year many Pacific County amateur operators gather to operate in the field without commercial power and with temporary antennas as might happen in a real emergency.   While the event is not a formal contest, an objective is to work as many stations as possible on most of the amateur bands and to practice operating in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions.

All told the Pacific County Amateur Radio Club will have five operating radio stations:  a “Get on the Air” Station open to the public, a Single Side Band Voice Station, a Morse Code Station, a Packet (digital) Station, and a VHF Station, demonstrating a wide range of capabilities.  The VHF station will make one or more contacts via Amateur radio satellite, for example.   Friday is dedicated to setting up the stations and antennas, including making test contacts to prove the viability of the each set-up.

The public is invited to observe amateur radio at work and learn how to make contact with other radio stations in North America.  One station is dedicated for use by the public and for amateurs who do not typically operate on the short-wave bands.  The best time to visit operations is Saturday midday through late afternoon.  Stop by the “Get on the Air” tent to learn first-hand about radio operations, pick up a brochure, take a tour, or to ask questions about becoming a licensed radio amateur.  Participate at the VHF station by sending an email via radio to a friend or family member.  The PCARC hopes that people will come and see for themselves that this is not your grandfather's radio! 

The Pacific County Amateur Radio Club meets the second Saturday of each month at 9:00AM at Hunter’s Inn in Naselle.  Anyone interested in learning about ham radio is encouraged to attend. For more information contact:  Dick Lemke, President 665-2438 or Bob Cline, Emergency Services Volunteer 665-4496.

# # #

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Message from PCEMA

Thank you to those of you who were able to attend one of the Let’s Talk Tsunami community forums held in March and April. There were many excellent questions and comments! The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency appreciates the community’s participation and willingness to better prepare themselves, their families, and businesses in the event of a disaster. 

Following is a variety of information and links that were requested during the forums. Please feel free to share this information with your contacts. Again, the PCEMA office thanks you!

·         Do you live in a tsunami inundation zone? Visit the Washington State Department of Natural Resources tsunami evacuation map, click on the house icon, and enter your address to find out. 


·         Visit the PCEMA Emergency Notification System page to register your wireless and/or VoIP (Comcast, Vonage, etc.) telephone numbers to receive a call when an event may impact your geographic area.

o   Emergency Notification System: http://www.co.pacific.wa.us/pcema/EmergNotifcation.htm

NOTE: Residents who live in a tsunami inundation zone and did not receive a phone call from the Pacific County Emergency Notification System the morning of March 11, 2011 for the tsunami advisory should call 360-642-9338 or 360-875-9338 and provide their name, address, phone number, and service provider.

·         If you would like to receive information on weather, disasters, and more, join the PCEMA Weather Warning Email List: provide your name and email address to drowlett@co.pacific.wa.us

·         Are you on Facebook? Like the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency page: www.facebook.com/pcema

·         If you have a wireless phone and would like to receive mobile updates when the EOC is activated, fast follow the Pacific County EOC on Twitter (even if you haven’t signed up for Twitter). Text: follow PCEOCNews to 40404

·         PCEMA Website (constantly under construction): www.co.pacific.wa.us/pcema

·         PCEMA Blog: www.pcema.blogspot.com 

·         NOAA Center for Tsunami Research Japan Tsunami Main Event Page: http://nctr.pmel.noaa.gov/honshu20110311/

·         Washington State Emergency Management Division Website: www.emd.wa.gov 

·         Map Your Neighborhood: http://www.emd.wa.gov/myn/index.shtml (contact the PCEMA office for printed MYN materials)

·         Project Safe Haven – Vertical Evacuation on the Washington Coast: https://catalyst.uw.edu/workspace/wiserjc/19587/116498

Important Phone Numbers:

(360) 875-9340 – Stephanie Fritts, PCEMA Director
(360) 875-9338 – Denise Rowlett, PCEMA Deputy Director
(360) 875-9341 – Pacific County EOC (when activated)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pacific County Volunteer Honored

South Bend, Washington – Pacific County volunteer, Jackie Sheldon, will be honored for her dedication and commitment to the Pacific County community at the 2011 Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards Ceremony at the Executive Mansion in Olympia on April 11, 2011.

To recognize the countless acts of service performed by one of Washington’s most valuable assets – its volunteers – Governor Chris Gregoire proclaimed April 10-16 as Washington Volunteer Appreciation Week. Gregoire said, “I urge all citizens to join me in recognizing and supporting those who volunteer and serve.”

Jackie began training in emergency preparedness shortly after the December 2007 windstorm. She supports residents, businesses, county and non-governmental organizations in her efforts to encourage emergency preparedness.

Jackie provides training opportunities for Pacific County residents by coordinating individual preparedness presentations, posting tips and instructions on Facebook, and coordinating the Disaster Preparedness Fair held in September.

Jackie was recognized in the fall of 2010 by the Pacific County Emergency Management Council for her work in promoting individual emergency preparedness. Jackie serves the citizens of Pacific County in a selfless manner, volunteering hundreds of hours in 2010 and is deserving of recognition for his work.

# # #

Thursday, April 7, 2011

No Tsunami Watch, Advisory, or Warning in Effect for Washington

South Bend, Washington – Seattle news station, Q13 Fox, inaccurately reported Washington State to be under a tsunami watch after a magnitude 7.4 earthquake shook Japan this morning. The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center (WCATWC) reports the earthquake was not sufficient to generate a tsunami damaging to California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, or Alaska.

For the most up to date tsunami information and activity, visit the WCATWC website at http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Disaster Preparedness Kit Demonstration

South Bend, Washington – Jackie Sheldon, a volunteer Tsunami Trainer for the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency, will provide instructions on how to build a disaster preparedness kit suitable for any circumstances. Presentations are scheduled as follows:

Friday, April 8, 2011 – 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Pacific County Fire District 1, 26110 Ridge Avenue, Ocean Park

Tokeland/North Cove – TBA

Jackie will demonstrate her personal preparedness kit providing options, suggestions, and advice for residents who wish to develop their own kits. Information specific to building preparedness kits will be distributed; residents may bring their own kits for evaluation, and should bring pen and paper in order to take notes specific to their own needs. Information will also be provided regarding NOAA weather radios.

If you need additional information, please contact the PCEMA office at (360) 875-9338.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Disaster Preparedness Kit Demonstration

South Bend, Washington – Jackie Sheldon, a volunteer Tsunami Trainer for the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency, will provide instructions on how to build a disaster preparedness kit suitable for any circumstances. Presentations are scheduled as follows:

Friday, March 25, 2011 – 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
South Pacific County Administration Building, 7013 Sandridge Rd, Long Beach

Monday, March 28, 2011 – 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Willapa Valley Grange, 290 Camp One Road, Raymond

Tokeland/North Cove – TBA

Jackie will demonstrate her personal preparedness kit providing options, suggestions, and advice for residents who wish to develop their own kits. Information specific to building preparedness kits will be distributed; residents may bring their own kits for evaluation, and should bring pen and paper in order to take notes specific to their own needs.

If you need additional information, please contact the PCEMA office at (360) 875-9338.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Let's Talk Tsunami Community Forum

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) is hosting a series of Let's Talk Tsunami community forums throughout Pacific County. There will be a question and answer session about the recent tsunami advisory event as well as a chance to give community input regarding tsunami evacuation routes, assembly areas, and signage.

The forums are scheduled as follows:

March 24, 2011 – 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Pacific County Fire District 1, 26110 Ridge Avenue, Ocean Park

March 24, 2011 – 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, 115 Lake Street SE, Ilwaco

April 5, 2011 – 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Shoalwater Bay Tribal Center, 2373 Old Tokeland Road, Tokeland

April 6, 2011 – 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
South Bend City Hall, 1102 W First Street, South Bend

Please contact the PCEMA office at (360) 875-9338 for more information.

 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Disaster Preparedness Kit Demonstration

South Bend, Washington – Jackie Sheldon, a volunteer Tsunami Trainer for the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency, will provide instructions on how to build a disaster preparedness kit suitable for any circumstances on Friday, March 25, 2011, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the South Pacific County Administration Building, 7013 Sandridge Rd, Long Beach, WA, Conference Room A.

Jackie will be assisted by Robyn Baker West and both will demonstrate their personal preparedness kits providing options, suggestions, and advice for residents who wish to develop their own kits.

Information specific to building preparedness kits will be distributed; residents may bring their own kits for evaluation, and should bring pen and paper in order to take notes specific to their own needs.

Monday, March 14, 2011

High Wind Warning Issued

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has issued a high wind warning which is in effect from 11:00 p.m. this evening to 8:00 a.m. Tuesday near the beaches and headlands of South Washington, North Oregon, and Central Oregon. This replaces the high wind watch which was previously in effect.

South winds increasing to 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 65 mph are expected for the headlands and open beaches. Winds will be somewhat lighter in the coastal communities. Strongest winds are expected between 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. early Tuesday morning.

A high surf advisory remains in effect until 8:00 p.m. this evening. Expect seas of 19 to 23 feet this evening with a period of around 14 to 15 seconds. The surf zone will remain choppy and chaotic into this evening. Seas will subside later this evening. The high surf will likely cause beach erosion in the surf zone. Debris and large logs will likely be tossed ashore. Waves will cover jetties and other outcroppings as well.

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. A high surf advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area producing rip currents and localized beach erosion.

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.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami Advisory Canceled for Washington

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2011 – 7:30 pm
Release #6

Contact: Stephanie Fritts, Director
360.875.9340 or sfritts@co.pacific.wa.us

South Bend, Washington –The tsunami advisory for Washington State has been canceled. The West Coast Alaska Tsunami Warning Center has canceled the advisory for the coastal areas of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia from Cascade Head Oregon, 70 miles SW of Portland to the Alaska-British Columbia border.

The public is cautioned to remain alert and to pay attention to the news media and any future warnings and alerts as the seismic activity in Japan is continuing. The Pacific County Emergency Operations Center is de-activating and will close at 8:00 p.m. Staff will return to duty Monday, March 14, 2011.

This will be the final press release issued by the Pacific County Emergency Operations Center for this event. Questions regarding this incident may be forwarded to the Pacific County Emergency Operations Center at 360.875.9340 or 360.642.9340.

# # #

Report of Minor Tidal Surges in Willapa Bay

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2011 – 4:00pm
Release #5

Contact: Bryan Harrison, County Administration Officer/PIO
360.875.9340 or sfritts@co.pacific.wa.us

South Bend, Washington –The Pacific County Emergency Management Council is advising residents that it has received reports of 3’-4’ waves and recurring tidal surges 3’-4’ in depth and up to 100 yards in length in Willapa Bay.
 
The public is advised to stay away from the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean, Willapa Bay and tidal rivers in Pacific County until further notice. In addition, the public is advised to avoid recreational boating in Willapa Bay.

The PCEMA Council is advising residents of Pacific County that the major threat of tsunami from the 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan earlier this morning has likely passed. More than eight hours have passed since the anticipated arrival of tsunami waves. The West Coast Alaska Tsunami Warning Center has maintained a tsunami advisory for the Washington Coast. Please note there could be lingering effects from the earthquake in Japan and/or additional aftershocks capable of generating tsunamis. Residents are cautioned to stay off the ocean beaches until further notice.

The public is cautioned to remain alert and to pay attention to the news media and any future warnings and alerts. This notice will be updated as conditions change. Questions regarding this announcement and questions regarding this incident should be forwarded to the Pacific County Emergency Operations Center at 360.875.9341 or 360.642.9341.

# # #

Washington Coast Tsunami Advisory Remains in Effect

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 11, 2011 – 3:30pm
Release #4

Contact: Bryan Harrison, County Administration Officer/PIO
360.875.9340 or sfritts@co.pacific.wa.us

South Bend, Washington –The Pacific County Emergency Management Council is advising residents that the West Coast Alaska Tsunami Warning Center has downgraded the tsunami warning along the coasts of California and Oregon to an advisory, there is no change in the tsunami advisory along the Washington Coast.

The PCEMA Council is advising residents of Pacific County that the major threat of tsunami from the 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan earlier this morning has likely passed. More than eight hours have passed since the anticipated arrival of tsunami waves. The West Coast Alaska Tsunami Warning Center has maintained a tsunami advisory for the Washington Coast. Please note there could be lingering effects from the earthquake in Japan and/or additional aftershocks capable of generating tsunamis. Residents are cautioned to stay off the ocean beaches until further notice.

The public is cautioned to remain alert and to pay attention to the news media and any future warnings and alerts. This notice will be updated as conditions change. Questions regarding this announcement and questions regarding this incident should be forwarded to the Pacific County Emergency Operations Center at 360.875.9341 or 360.642.9341.

# # #

Washington Coast Tsunami Advisory Remains in Effect

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 11, 2011 10:00 a.m.
Release # 3

Contact: Stephanie Fritts, Director
(360) 875-9340 or sfritts@co.pacific.wa.us

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Council has met and is advising residents that no cancellation has been received from the West Coast Alaska Tsunami Warning Center.

A tsunami is a series of waves and the first wave may not be the largest. Tsunami wave heights cannot be predicted and can vary significantly along a coast due to local effects. The time from one tsunami wave to the next can be five minutes to an hour, and the threat can continue for many hours as multiple waves arrive.

The PCEMA Council is advising residents of Pacific County that the major threat of tsunami from the 8.9 Magnitude earthquake in Japan earlier this morning has likely passed. More than two hours have passed since the anticipated arrival of tsunami waves. The West Coast Alaska Tsunami Warning Center has maintained a tsunami advisory for the Washington Coast. Please note there could be lingering effects from the earthquake in Japan and/or additional after-shocks capable of generating tsunamis. Residents are cautioned to stay off the ocean beaches until further notice.

The public is cautioned to remain alert and to pay attention to the news media and any future warnings and alerts. This notice will be updated as conditions change. Questions regarding this announcement and questions regarding this incident should be forwarded to the Pacific County Emergency Operations Center at 360-875-9341 or 360-642-9341.

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Pacific County EOC Activated for Tsunami Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 11, 2011 6:30 a.m.
Release # 2

Contact: Stephanie Fritts, Director
(360) 875-9340 or sfritts@co.pacific.wa.us

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency activated the Emergency Operations Center in response to a tsunami advisory issued early in the day by the West Coast Alaska Tsunami Warning Center for the Washington Coast.

The EOC activated at 12:30 a.m. and immediately began assessing the circumstances. A recommendation for residents to move to high ground was issued shortly after activation. Residents were notified via the telephonic warning system, and through media releases via email, Twitter, and Facebook. Assistance to those residents unable to evacuate themselves was coordinated through the EOC with the Raymond Fire Department, Pacific County Fire District 1 and the Ilwaco Volunteer Fire Department, but has now ceased due to concerns for responder safety.

The Pacific County EOC will remain activated until circumstances indicate that the threat has ended and the impact has been assessed. Currently the EOC is watching for the impact on the Pacific County coastline. When the West Coast Alaska Tsunami Warning Center indicates the threat has ended the Pacific County EOC will pass that information to residents as soon as possible.

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Pacific County Recommends Residents Move to High Ground

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2011 3:10 a.m.
Release # 1

Contact: Stephanie Fritts, Director
Pacific County Emergency Management Agency
(360) 875-9340 or sfritts@co.pacific.wa.us

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency was notified early this morning that the county was under a tsunami watch as the result of a large earthquake in Japan that resulted in a damaging tsunami. The watch status was then changed to an advisory.

An advisory is issued due to the threat of a potential tsunami which may produce strong currents or waves dangerous to those in or near the water. Coastal regions historically prone to damage due to strong currents induced by tsunamis are at the greatest risk. The threat may continue for several hours after the arrival of the initial wave, but significant widespread inundation is not expected for areas under an advisory. Advisories are normally updated to continue the advisory, expand/contract affected areas, upgrade to a warning, or cancel the advisory.

The Pacific County Sheriff’s Office is activating a telephonic warning system early this morning to advise Long Beach Peninsula residents and additional residents in low lying areas to move to high ground. The tsunami is expected to impact the Pacific County coastline at 7:05 a.m., with a wave height between one and ten feet. Residents who need assistance with evacuation should contact the Pacific County EOC at 642-9341 or 875-9341. Residents who evacuate should wait for the all clear before returning to the area. Tune to local media for further information.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

High Wind Warning for Thursday, March 10th

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has issued a high wind warning effective from 1:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. Thursday.

South winds 35 to 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph will develop late tonight. Winds will increase to 30 mph to 45 mph with gusts to 65 mph Thursday afternoon. A few gusts to 70 mph can be expected at the coastal headlands. Strong winds are expected to develop this evening along the central Oregon Coast and move northward during early morning hours.

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.

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.

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High Wind Warning in Effect

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has issued a high wind warning near beaches and headlands which is in effect until noon today. A high wind watch remains in effect from Thursday morning through Thursday afternoon.

South winds 40 to 50 mph with gusts to 70 mph this morning and early afternoon at beaches and headlands with south winds of 35 mph with gusts to 55 mph in the coastal communities. Winds will decrease later this afternoon as a cold front passes. South wind is expected to increase again mid Thursday morning through Thursday afternoon reaching speeds of 35 to 45 mph with gusts to 65 mph at headlands and beaches and south wind 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 60 mph at coastal communities.

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.

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.

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, March 1, 2011

High Winds Expected Tomorrow

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has issued a high wind warning which is in effect from 2:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Wednesday. This replaces the high wind watch that was previously issued.

South winds becoming 30 to 45 mph with gusts up to 70 mph are expected for the headlands and open beaches. South winds becoming 25 to 35 mph with gusts of 55 to 60 mph are expected for coastal communities. Winds will turn more southerly after midnight and increase quickly between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. with the strongest winds expected between 8:00 a.m. and noon on Wednesday. Winds will begin to ease after 1:00 p.m.

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions:

Tree damage and power outages are possible. 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.

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, February 22, 2011

Significant Low Elevation Snow Expected

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has issued a winter storm warning for snow which is in effect from 6:00 a.m. Wednesday to 10:00 p.m. Thursday for the coast, Columbia River Gorge, and lowlands of Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon.

Unseasonably cold weather for late February is causing the snow level to fall to the lower elevations of the Cascade Foothills and Coast Range of Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon today. As much colder air moves into the region Wednesday and Thursday, accumulating snow will become likely down to the beaches and valley floor later Wednesday through Thursday.

  • Some light accumulating snow will be possible in the higher elevations early tomorrow morning with heavier snow beginning later Wednesday and continuing into Thursday.
  • A trace, up to three inches of snow is possible early Wednesday morning in the higher terrain.
  • General storm totals of two to five inches are expected for the coast and lowlands by Thursday evening. Some local accumulations of six to 10 inches is possible mainly in the higher hills.
  • Roadways may become icy and snow covered resulting in slick driving conditions. This may significantly impact the commute both Wednesday and Thursday.
Precautionary/Preparedness Actions: 

A winter storm warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. 

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, February 16, 2011

Long Term Power Outage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 16, 2011 – 3:36 p.m.
Contact: Stephanie Fritts, Director

South Bend, Washington – Due to a vehicle versus power pole accident that occurred today at 2:02 p.m. near the intersection of 189th and Sandridge Road, the Pacific County PUD # 2 has informed the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency that all residences north of 227th St, on the Long Beach Peninsula will be without power until well after midnight tonight.

In addition, a minimum of one lane of Sandridge Road will be closed during repairs.

The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement indicating that late afternoon today showers are likely with the possibility of a thunderstorm. The high will be near 43 degrees, and a 70% chance of precipitation. Tonight the low will be around 32 degrees.

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions:

Residents are advised to take measures as appropriate for cold weather including the safe use of alternative heat methods and consider the use of State Route 103 as an alternate route to their destination.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Severe Thunderstorm Warning in Effect Now

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 14, 2011 – 3:30 p.m.

Contact: Stephanie Fritts, Director
Pacific County Emergency Management Agency
(360) 875-9340 or sfritts@co.pacific.wa.us

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service in Portland has just issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for southern Pacific, western Wahkiakum and northwestern Clatsop Counties.

At 3:14 p.m. National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing damaging winds in excess of 60 miles per hour, was located 14 miles south of Warrenton, Oregon and moving northeast at 60 miles per hour.

The National Weather Service is predicting that locations near Cape Disappointment and Ilwaco will be impacted. This is a dangerous storm. Prepare immediately for potentially damaging winds and cloud to ground lightening. People outside should move indoors, preferable away from a window.

In addition, a high wind warning remains in effect until 8:00 p.m. this evening.

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions:

Move indoors away from potential lightening and high wind.

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.

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.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Naselle River Gauge Buried

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Stephanie Fritts, Director
Pacific County Emergency Management Agency
(360) 875-9340 or sfritts@co.pacific.wa.us

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency has been informed that the Naselle River measurement gauge is currently buried in silt and while transmitting data, readings cannot be relied upon to be accurate. The gauge has indicated extremely high readings on several recent occasions when observations indicate that river levels are in actuality, going down.

The National Weather Service, Portland Office has been in contact with the U.S. Geological Survey, the agency that installed and maintains the gauge, and the USGS has indicated that repairs will be made the week of January 23, 2011. In addition, the USGS has indicated that the gauge is scheduled to be replaced mid-2011. When replaced, the gauge will also be moved to a new location.

The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency encourages all residents to be aware of rising river levels and prepared for potential flooding. The Naselle River level can be monitored (upon repair of the gauge) online at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?12010000. Flood preparedness tips are available on the PCEMA webpage at http://www.co.pacific.wa.us/pcema.

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Flood Warning Issued for the Willapa River

South Bend, WA:  The National Weather Service in Portland has issued a flood warning for the Willapa River from Sunday morning to Monday morning, or until the warning is cancelled. 

At 10 p.m. Saturday the Willapa River was 10.6' and flowing at 330 cfs.  Flood stage is 21.0' and flood flow is 9300 cfs.  At this time the National Weather Service is predicting that the river will rise above flood stage around 10 a.m. Sunday and is expected to crest at 24.5' around 10 p.m. Sunday.

Historically, this will result in numerous local road closures and flooding in the Forks Creek Hatchery area.  Caution is advised when driving, and residents are advised to expect closures of portions of State Route 6 and possibly State Route 101. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Flood Watch in Effect through the Weekend

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a flood watch in effect from Saturday night through Monday afternoon for portions of Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington. A sustained period of heavy rain is expected to develop Saturday night and continue through most of Sunday. Storm total rainfall amounts of four to six inches are expected along the coast and in the coastal mountains.

While the Willapa and Naselle Rivers are not currently included in the rivers of most concern, the PCEMA office wants residents to be aware that the potential for flooding does exist.

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions:

A flood watch means there is a potential for 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 Wind Warning in Effect

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has issued a high wind warning in effect until 1:00 p.m. this afternoon near beaches and headlands along the south Washington and north and central Oregon coasts.

South winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph are expected along beaches and headlands. Coastal communities will see gusts to between 40 and 50 mph.

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.

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, January 11, 2011

High Wind Warning Issued

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland issued a high wind warning in effect from 10:00 p.m. this evening to 7:00 a.m. Wednesday morning near beaches and headlands along the south Washington and north and central Oregon coasts.

South winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph are expected near beaches and headlands. Winds will increase after 10:00 p.m. this evening and will continue until around sunrise Wednesday morning.

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.

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.