Washblog

Report from Lietta Ruger: Storm Causes Complete Infrastructure Collapse in Pacific Co.

[Note: see previous story by Arthur Ruger: Inconvenient Truths, Washington State and Willapa Bay.]

I just spoke with Lietta Ruger, one of Washblog's editors, and she asked me to post a little summary of our conversation. She plans to post something more in-depth later.

She and Arthur Ruger live in the Willapa Bay community in Bay Center. There is no locally owned broadcast media in the area, and so they rely primarily on King 5 TV for their storm warnings. KIRO and KOMO generally don't provide coverage on their area. She said that no warnings came through mainstream media on the severe impacts that their community was expected to face from the impending storm last weekend. It was only because they happen to subscribe to what she describes as a tiny newspaper, a weekly called The Chinook Observer, that she learned her community was facing perhaps "the storm of the decade."

Having received this one warning, she and Arthur brought out their candles and blankets and cooked up the food in their refrigerator and battened down the hatches - just in case.  The storm hit on Sunday and the three of them - including Lietta's mother - stayed indoors for two days as winds up to 119 miles an hour raged outside.  There was no electricity, no phone service, no cellphone service.  After the storm subsided, the roads were so impassible in every direction, and the power outage and the lack of emergency service so complete -- that as far as people in her community knew, they might have separated from the rest of the United States and floated off into the Pacific Ocean.

It wasn't until yesterday that a local store selling crank radios opened and she and Arthur were able to tune into coverage from Astoria, Oregon to find out the extent of the damage to the rest of Washington state.

Even then, most of the stores remained locked, the social services office, where emergency help is usually offered, remained closed and dark. The gas pumps, which run on electricity, don't work. People who have medical emergencies are out of luck. And at least one woman did die, when her house caught on fire from the candles she was using to provide light.

There was no safe way to travel by water, either, because the water was moving too fast and there were too many other dangers, low tree branches, objects, etc.  Even the county's weather monitoring equipment failed.  We know that winds reached 119 mph in Bay Center and 120 mph in Astoria, she said, because private citizens had equipment that withstood the wind, while the wind broke the county's equipment.

The problem wasn't with community members. People helped each other quite a bit. In fact, the owner of the Bay Center grocery store, a woman named Lori, drove from Long Beach through all the hazards to Bay Center and fired up the generator and stove and cooked soups and made sandwiches to serve the people in that community. And her husband and son did that in the other grocery stores owned by the family in other nearby communities.  But now that the electricity has come back on, and she's learned that the rest of the world is still here -- though Grays Harbon and Lewis Counties appear to have suffered even more -- now she's feeling pretty upset.

This is a warning, she said, that we need to get our act together on emergency preparedness. We are experiencing the effects of climate change and we can expect more. This kind of storm is not on the usual scale. It's a clear signal, as well, that we need some major changes in how we do media.   Pacific County needs its own broadcast media. We talked for awhile about testimony at the recent FCC hearing in Seattle that local communities are endangered by the centralization of broadcast media. That is absolutely correct, she said. Now that she has a little time to think, it's hitting her, the extent of this collapse of infrastructure: the lack of emergency preparedness and media coverage and the blackout on all services during the storm or for the 2 days afterwards. "This complete and utter failure, she said, "is unacceptable."

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I was worried about Arthur and Lietta after seeing the reports about how hard hit Pacific County was and that the early news reports said the entire county was without electricity.

I agree with Lietta about needing to get our act together when it comes to emergency preparedness.

As individuals, we are often told in case of any disaster, we need to be prepared to survive for 72 hours without services.  However, we are now seeing instances (like the Dec. 2006 windstorm as well as the current situation) when our government entities don't always seem to be able to get services functioning again within 3 days.

I'm not sure what the answer should be. Of course, disaster planning and preparedness by our governments is critically important, but how much is enough?  

by Cherisse on Thu Dec 06, 2007 at 04:59:26 PM PST

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We have to be. We're an island. Click on the link to learn more.

If perception is reality, then the world must be flat and the sun must revolve around it.

by ivan on Thu Dec 06, 2007 at 05:04:11 PM PST

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We knew we had it bad but as bad as it was for us, I learned today for the first time who had it worse.

Today I had my first internet access since Sunday night and I've seen the pictures out of Lewis County. at work today for the first time this week  I heard genuine horror stories about destruction and suffering east of Raymond on Hwy 6 in Pe Ell and Doty and on out to I-5 at exit 77 in Chehalis.

Raymond still did not have power today when I got to work. South Bend was up and Bay Center went back up while I was driving to work.

I do have to laugh when I heard King 5 honk about how they're news we can count on. We were aware of what was coming from the Chinook Observer which is Pacific County's official newspaper even tho it's not even half the size of the Aberdeen Daily World.

Having read the Observer article, I clicked on my Yahoo Weather Bay Center link and saw essentially the same bland rain + winds gusting 20-40 mph that King, Komo and Kiro's weekend weather broadcasters had been dealing out very casually all weekend long.

However, there was also a "severe weather warning" link on that Yahoo Weather Page for Bay Center and that warning confirmed the story in the Observer.

We were once more watching King 5 news Sunday night knowing what was coming because outside we could hear the winds "gusting from 20-40". Suddenly, in the middle of that weather report we heard a loud snap and lost our power. At first we thought a wire to the house had snapped because we could still see a few lights around us. Then total darkness. Two transformers had blown and the game was afoot.

But the weather reporter had made no mention of it. When the fancy map had trickled over to the coast once again we heard what seemed like almost a casual throw away reference to wind gusts 20-40 miles possibly higher overnight.

So we owe NBC, CBS and ABC Seattle absolutely no gratitude for any preparations made that helped us through. As to whether or not Lewis and Grays Harbor County residents were misinformed by the MSM networks, I'll leave it to them.

I received a copy today of the letter the governor sent to the president requesting disaster-area status. Sent because we need Bush to make the declaration in order to issue emergency food assistance to more residents who normally don't qualify for food.

How about that? It's a good thing there isn't a way for Bush to privatize food issuance in Washington eh? Maybe lower rescue pay to prevailing wage too. Would we see more of Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine in action?

But then I've just watched the KOMO news film review of cash raised ($60,000 plus $5,000 in gift cards) and 7 semi's full of relief supplies.

Maybe I shouldn't be so hasty cause those who watch MSM are demonstrating generous hearts .... eh?

Arthur
What they inwardly imagine is the only thing they'll accept.

by Arthur Ruger on Thu Dec 06, 2007 at 07:12:04 PM PST

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Thanks Noemie, for getting the conversation we shared today as a report posted to Washblog. You did a nice job of gathering most all that I shared with you, and since I was a tad bit excite-able in the sharing, that you got it almost 100% accurate is a listening feat!  I wanted to make a couple of corrections and additions.

 

though Whatcom and Lewis Counties appear to have suffered even more
.  
 what I said was not Whatcom, rather that Grays Harbor and Lewis Counties appear to have suffered even more, and all the news I am finding now that I once again have internet access bears that out. Both counties have been declared by Governor Gregoire to be disaster areas and she has requested help from the President for these two Washington counties.

  And I have to give a bit tip of the hat to Lori, marvelous woman, along with her husband, who made sure that families in both Bay Center and Long Beach in Pacific County had access to hot soup, hot coffee, hot cider and sandwiches via the  businesses she and her husband operate in Seaview (Long Beach) and the newly opened convenience grocery store in Bay Center.  Laurie's Homestead Breakfast House in Seaview (Long Beach); 4214 Pacific Way, Seaview, WA 98644, (360) 642-7171.  She also has a bakery business and her husband operates Chico Pizza - all on Pacific Way in Seaview.  

 

Source for citing the woman who died in Pacific County; CNN - US, Dec 6, 2007 reports;

Eight people were killed in the Pacific Northwest as a result of the storm and damages were likely to reach into the billions of dollars, but remained to be tallied.

....

Officials learned late Wednesday of an eighth death related to the storm. A person died in a fire that was ignited by a candle in a house without electricity in Pacific County, said Mark Clemens, a spokesman at the state emergency management center.

Six people died in Washington, and another two died in Oregon in deaths blamed on the storm.

anecdotal:
The Wind Meter Broke at 81 MPH
Seattle Times

"It's the worst blow I've seen since the [1962] Columbus Day storm," said Chuck Winn, manager of Sid's Supermarket in Long Beach, Pacific County. "And this one is lasting a lot longer than that one did."

In Grays Harbor County, Dave Johnson, captain at the Aberdeen Police Department, said sustained winds were recorded at 81 mph.

"They might have gone higher than that, but the wind meter broke at that point," Johnson said. "There are a lot of roofs that have been completely ripped off homes and businesses."

 ........

Out on the coast, it was the wind that wreaked the most havoc.

By late Monday, 90 percent of Grays Harbor County and much of Pacific County were without power. Officials warned that it will be days before power is restored.

In Montesano, residents were urged to boil their tap water because the city's reservoir was badly damaged by the storm.


As I told Noemie, and she reported, we were cut off from all communication for several days.  Since we had battery operated radio, we could get scratchy reception from community operated radio station in Astoria. 92 FM on our dial.   Listening to that station report on conditions in Astoria and up towards WA in Long Beach in Pacific County, I was struck by the absence of reports on our area which is also in Pacific County, about 30 miles from Long Beach.  And no reports on Raymond and South Bend, also in North Pacific County.  

One morning I was able to get clear reception to a station in Aberdeen - Grays Harbor County, 1320 AM on our dial. With these 2 local stations I was able to learn about conditions in the counties close by - Grays Harbor is our neighbor county in Washington, and Astoria is our neighbor county in Oregon.  I was able to rather assess how difficult and challenging the situation was in those two areas, so it was fairly easy to conclude that same-like challenges existed where we live in North Pacific County.

My concern though, as the days passed with no information from within the county, was that perhaps information was not gettting out of the county either.  I started to worry that our families would become anxious about our well being when I could hear from the radio reports that some of the stories about Pacific Northwest storm were now at national level news media.  There was no way to get word to them that we were okay, and no way to know if Emergency Services even knew our status should our families try to learn about us.

 As it turned out, after 3 days without land line or cell phone services, no internet, Arthur's daughter and my sister were frantic and biting nails, anxious to learn what happened to us.  They were hearing the reports of storm devastation in our region and with no word from us, they didn't know if we were alive or not.  

I already knew that this week on Tues, Dec 4, my daughter would be having a hard time because her husband had left for Iraq that very day. We knew he was leaving, but the departure date was uncertain, first part of December.  She learned the week before that the date was now firmed up as  Dec 4, departure. I was worried she had been trying to contact me, and likely getting my voice mail and that she wouldn't realize that our phone lines were out, or what our status was given the reports of Pacific Northwest storm destruction that were out by then in media.  

 When the phones came back on Wednesday morning, Arthur's daughter reached us and messengered to all the other family members that we were safe.  Later that day, we were able to connect with all the families to reassure them we were okay.  As one of my daughters told me, from the media reports it sounded like we drowned, or dropped off the planet.  

 We had brought my mother to stay with us through the holidays, and we are blessed that she is in good enough health not to need immediate emergency medical services.  Having her with us though, opened my thoughts to concerns about what if she had needed medical help and we were locked down here in Pacific County, not knowing if we had hospital access.  

Since we were among the fortunate, and there are so many more among our neighbors and neighboring counties (Lewis and Grays Harbor are two of our border counties) who lost so much, I'm not complaining about what amounts to our less significant inconveniences.  More, it seems to me that there are lessons to be taken from this experience all around.  The warnings were not there, the news media was not there and the emergency services, while perhaps they  did the best they could, at least here in Pacific County, it was woefully inadequate from our perspective having experienced it as we have through this past week.  

The convergence of the weather-related events happening over the last several days and our experience of being so entirely cut off, of watching the infrastructure in our county collapse has me contemplative....  

'Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them? ~ Abraham Lincoln

by Lietta Ruger on Thu Dec 06, 2007 at 09:32:02 PM PST

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I just want to add something thoughtful about something downright useless and of little socially redeeming value.

The radio station in Astoria is a public radio station FM 92. The Astoria station had very limited SW Washington news and is very much like KPLU in Tacoma so it broadcast NPR national news reports.

The closest AM radio station is 1320 - 40 miles north of us in Aberdeen. That AM station in Aberdeen had more information about what was going on even closer to home ... more local news on the hour and half hour.

But no matter how urgently we needed to know, there was a price to pay to get that news.

In order to "be there" the moment of the news broadcast, we had to "be there" early so as not to miss anything. We tuned in at 5 or 10 minutes before the hour and half hour.

What did we have to endure on AM 1320?

You guessed it.

The first time it was Glen Beck, the next time Rush and the last time O'Reilly - all of whom worked hard to convince me that all of our troubles including this storm have been caused by liberals.

Never were broadcasters revealed as more worthless, useless and downright wasteful than in those moments when we needed news but had to tolerate self-serving bull shit before we got what we needed.

Arthur
What they inwardly imagine is the only thing they'll accept.

by Arthur Ruger on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 06:00:12 AM PST

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Why the loss of communications explanation from Pacific County Emergency Operations. Of course, we didn't have access to this information, but for an after the fact, it helps explain why some parts of the Pacific County infrastructure failed.  (bold is mine)

from Chinook Observer (serves Long Beach peninsula, Pacific County)

Local agencies react to storm as best they can despite tough conditions
12/5/2007 10:17:00 PM

PACIFIC COUNTY - According to County Commissioner Jon Kaino, Pacific County's Emergency Operations Center was activated early Monday morning, but was unable to reach much of the county without any means of direct communication with residents.

The center was able to release some information to Seattle and Olympia radio stations, but such radio frequencies couldn't reach much of south county during the sustained 70 to 80 mph winds Monday. With phone lines down and cell towers inoperable, information became scarce across southwest Washington and the Oregon Coast.

Conditions were so dangerous part of the time that even physically delivering information was impossible, particularly considering the condition of area streets and highways.

At 8:15 a.m. Monday, an emergency dispatcher said "Due to the weather, pretty much every highway is blocked in Pacific County." Major closures included Interstate 5, Washington State Route 4, Oregon Highways 30 and 26, and U.S. 101. Most are now open, except for SR6 between Raymond and Centralia, which may be out of commission for weeks due to a major landslide near Elma.

"Activation and response went fairly well, what was lacking was communication," explains Kaino. "We were doing things, but no one knew it. We had shelters and help from the National Guard, but we had no communication to let people know what we have done. ... We're performing an enormous amount of welfare checks since phone calls are limited to the same prefix."

 Kaino says while radio communications are working, even the county's satellite phones have not been reliable.

In Astoria, New Northwest Broadcasters produced regular radio updates throughout the duration of the storm. In addition to taking phone calls from Astoria area residents, Paul Mitchell and his staff spoke with Clatsop area representatives and crews to keep listeners informed. Flying sheet metal and other debris was reported throughout Clatsop County, specifically Seaside and further south. But the station was unable to provide any information about Pacific County until Tuesday.

For some, the storm illicited memories of the dangerous affects of a Northwest storm that tore through the coast more than 45 years ago. At the time of the historical Columbus Day storm in 1962, Kaino was only four years old, but recalls stories that put that storm into context compared to what we've just experienced.

"That one blew harder but it was here and gone in eight hours. But this storm was 48 hours of hell," he said.

This is not so much an effort of finger pointing at Pacific County, as much as using our actual experience in Pacific County to point to the fragility of infrastructures to deal with catastrophic inclement weather in many Washington state counties; how important communication becomes in such times.  Also how reliant infrastructure has become on electricty to power things like gas pumps, ATM access to your money, businesses ability to do business except in exact cash - if businesses open at all, pumps for water, even emergency generators require gas to operate and if gas is unavailable due to gas pumps inoperability...

It can happen in any county anywhere.  

'Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them? ~ Abraham Lincoln

by Lietta Ruger on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 10:32:07 AM PST

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and a guy who works at the store called / FEMA to get some lists of what to do

so that when people came in to fix up after whatnot,

there'd be lists to do this, then that, then the next thing ...

and FEMA ain't got no list!

they should fire every son of a bitch who works for them and who makes more than 10 bucks an hour

rmm.

http://www.liemail.com/BambooGrassroots.html

by rmdSeaBos on Fri Dec 07, 2007 at 09:28:10 PM PST

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Not sure where to stick this so I'll just pop it here.

One of the reasons why we got little warning about this storm is because SW Washington is one of the few areas along the entire coast of the United States without Doppler Radar.  If you watch the weather forecasts on the news, especially when they show the weather maps, there is nothing...just a blank spot...in the Southwest corner of our state.

This is ridiculous.  Not only do we have people living in areas where storm warnings would be helpful to their survival including entire towns, but we also have fishing fleets that sail out of Westport, Ilwaco, and other areas of our southwest coast.  It is ridiculous that we have no real, effective prior warning systems in place out here.

The Grays Harbor County commissioners have communicated the need for this to the governor, Senators Murray and Cantwell, and Rep. Dicks.  I'm not sure if Baird has been contacted as well.  I encourage all of you to consider contacting our representatives to request that a doppler system be built somewhere along Washington's southwest coast.  Not only will this help this area get better storm warnings but major metro areas will get warnings sooner as well.

by funkycamper on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 09:59:39 AM PST

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Yesterday, I learned there was to be a Storm Debriefing meeting - Pacific County Commissioners and Emergency Operations Center agencies.  It was meant for the Pacific County agencies to meet and give reports of what worked, what didn't work in the actions to the storm of the Pacific County agencies.

This part of the meeting was open to the public, but not for public input.  My mother (not from our county and staying with us over the holidays) went with me to the meeting, and I think we were the only 'public' to attend.  I doubt that is a lack of public participation, but more mopping up after the storm and either not able to attend the meeting or not aware the meeting was being held.  I learned about it at article in The Oregonian.

Today, officials in Pacific County -- just across the Astoria-Megler Bridge from Oregon's northwestern tip -- will hold the first in a series of meetings aimed at looking into the area's response to these storms and future ones. Emergency management personnel, county commissioners and utility officials will discuss the response and begin to tally the damage.

Then they plan to venture out to each community in the county, including those on the 28-mile peninsula stretching from Chinook north to Oysterville, to hold town hall meetings.

"We're still in response mode right now," said Jon Kaino, chairman of the Pacific County Board of Commissioners, on Monday. "But our intent is to get out there, let people vent and then look forward to what we need to do to make everyone safer next time."

 The room was filled with people representing a long list of county agencies in north and south Pacific County.  The theme of 'what worked', was the individuals who put in long hours day and night over the course of the days of the storm and the days that followed.

The theme of 'what didn't work'  resonated from one agency representative to another in the frustrations of communication - intra agency and to the public.  There were other concerns expressed and thoughts of what could be done better, and I think it might be premature for me to report on what Pacific County will be reporting as they go through the process of gathering and disseminating information.  In the typical agency meeting format, the chart method was used, and what was expressed will be reviewed and published in January with availability to the public.  

They expect to hold 'town hall' type meetings in all the towns and communities in Pacific County starting in January.  Citizens can attend and share their experiences, offer input and suggestions and perhaps how we can all be better prepared next time.  

My sense of the real people who were providing real services is that each was concerned and dedicated to giving service and worked above and beyond the call of duty or pay.  Clearly the people involved did their best and beyond.   However, there were some elements that struck me as pronounced in what did not work.  

The representative from the U.S. Coast Guard indicated their services were under utilized and made it clear they have both person power and resources to offer.  The National Guard that was sent to Pacific County to help was either under-utilized or there was not clear direction between Pacific County and the National Guard for how to collaborate and make the best useage of them as a resource.  Both of these are quickly remedial and for myself, personally, I would encourage that remedy be put into place and written into the Emergency Plans process.

This says loudly to me that a collaboration and planning process needs to be worked out for how county level, state level and federal level resources will work together.  It seems the idea of emergency preparedness needs to be applied to the planning process for all the resources at all the levels in a collaborative process BEFORE the storms and damage, instead of on the run while the storm is occurring and the damage has hit.

I seriously doubt this is specific and unique to Pacific County alone, and more the opportunity for lessons learned from which other counties can also benefit and work to be better prepared in their own communities.  We are a county with fewer and limited resources, but there are many counties in Washington state with data statistics that mirror the conditions in our county.  

At the meeting yesterday, Stephanie Fritts, Emergency Management Director of Pacific County Emergency Management gave a blow by blow account of how their agency handled the storm from onset to the week that followed.  As I have expressed in the story, one of the concerns I had was that information was not getting into or out of Pacific County or to media.  In Stephanie's account, it was demonstrated that efforts were made to get information out to radio stations and media, not once but twice with a second effort of having people hand-carry the information across the Megler-Astoria bridge to  Astoria radio station.  

Stephanie has a 'warning list' email list-serv and  sends email warnings in advance of impending storms and inclement weather.  I asked her to add me to her list-serv, which she has done, and she asked that I make her contact info available at Washblog for others who might wish to be added to her 'warning list' email list-serv.  I am happy to oblige, and if you have a similar Emergency Operations Center contact/website in your community, feel free to add the info and link.

    Pacific County Emergency Management
         Contact us at:

Mailing Address:
  P.O. Box 101, South Bend, WA  98586
Phone: 360-875-9340  South Bend
       360-642-9340  Long Beach
Fax: 360-875-9342
Email: sfritts@co.pacific.wa.us
Website http://www.co.pacific.wa.us/pcema/

 

'Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them? ~ Abraham Lincoln

by Lietta Ruger on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 11:18:14 AM PST

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 Wasn't sure where to put this, so will place it here and also at the earlier story of my experience in Pacific County.

  for Grays Harbor and Lewis Counties, authorized for individual disaster relief, the food stamp disaster program is enacted, which has more generous eligibility rules and benefit amounts.  

    link to video at KING 5 of Governor Gregoire introducing DSHS Secretary Robin Arnold-Williams and hear it first hand as she explains the program.
  http://www.king5.com/video/index.html?nvid=199879

Raw: Wash. DSHS head talks about food stamps after flooding December 10th, 2007

Robin Arnold-Williams, head of Washington Department of Social and Health Services, briefs the public on food stamp availability and crisis counseling after last week's flooding.

  note: At this time it is applicable only in Grays Harbor and Lewis Counties for people who Live and/or Work in those two counties.

'Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them? ~ Abraham Lincoln

by Lietta Ruger on Thu Dec 13, 2007 at 11:16:37 AM PST

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 I received High Wind Watch email from PCEMA (Pacific County Emergency Management)listserv of high winds this weekend.   And as we watched KING 5 tv weather news last night, we were pleased to see a wind warning for coast with Pacific County specifically highlighted.  Well, restated, we aren't pleased that high winds are coming, we were pleased to see KING 5 calling it to attention in their weather news section.

Thanks PCEMA and KING 5 tv weather news for the info and warning.

email received yesterday from PCEMA listserv;

Pacific County Emergency Management does not send out high wind "watch" statements as standard procedure, but given the strength of the last storm and the damage that occurred, advance notice of an impending wind event is now appropriate in order to provide residents adequate time to prepare and to minimize further damage.  

Pacific County Emergency Management has just received the following from the National Weather Service:

URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR

1207 PM PST FRI DEC 14 2007

NORTH OREGON COAST-CENTRAL OREGON COAST-SOUTH WASHINGTON COAST- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...ASTORIA...CANNON BEACH...TILLAMOOK...

LINCOLN CITY...NEWPORT...FLORENCE...RAYMOND...LONG BEACH...CATHLAMET

1207 PM PST FRI DEC 14 2007

A HIGH WIND WATCH IS IN EFFECT FROM SUNDAY MORNING THROUGH SUNDAY AFTERNOON FOR THE SOUTH WASHINGTON COAST AND THE NORTH AND CENTRAL OREGON COAST...

A SERIES OF FRONTAL SYSTEMS WILL MOVE OFF THE PACIFIC OCEAN AND INTO THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST TO BRING VERY GUSTY WINDS TO THE SOUTH WASHINGTON COAST AND THE NORTH AND CENTRAL OREGON COAST. THESE FRONTS WILL ALSO BRING GUSTY WINDS TO THE NORTH AND CENTRAL OREGON COAST RANGE.

THE FIRST FRONT WILL COME INLAND TONIGHT WITH SOUTH WINDS EXPECTED TO INCREASE TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS 45 MPH AT THE NORTH OREGON AND SOUTH WASHINGTON COAST DURING THE EVENING AND TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS 35 TO 45 MPH ON THE RIDGES OF THE NORTH AND CENTRAL OREGON COAST RANGE.

BE AWARE THAT TREES MAY WEAKENED...AND MORE PRONE TO FALLING BY PREVIOUS WIND AND RAIN STORMS IN THESE AREAS.

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

STAY ABREAST OF LATER BULLETINS CONCERNING THIS DEVELOPING WEATHER PATTERN.

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.

Stephanie K Fritts
Pacific County Communications and Emergency Mgmt.
PO Box 27
South Bend, WA 98586
(360) 875-9340 work

'Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them? ~ Abraham Lincoln

by Lietta Ruger on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 06:28:50 AM PST

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FEMA grants flood relief to 3 more counties
 report at KING 5 news, Sat, Dec 15, 2007

  link is to KING 5 Top Stories, so I don't know how long the url link will work - try google.  It is also an AP story so should show up in other places.

05:57 PM PST on Saturday, December 15, 2007        Associated Press and KING 5 NEWS
   OLYMPIA, Wash. - Gov. Chris Gregoire says the federal government has added Mason, Pacific and Thurston counties to the federal disaster declaration for the storm and flooding that began Dec. 1.

 The governor said Saturday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will help individuals and business owners affected by storm damage. FEMA previously granted individual assistance for Grays Harbor and Lewis counties on Dec. 9.

Individual assistance helps residents and business owners with housing assistance, small business loans, crisis counseling and other programs.

'Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them? ~ Abraham Lincoln

by Lietta Ruger on Sun Dec 16, 2007 at 08:38:27 AM PST

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