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The original item was published from 1/31/2020 4:19:33 PM to 2/4/2020 12:00:04 AM.

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Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: January 31, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Friday, January 31, 2020 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

With regards to the coronavirus, please see the Whatcom County Health Department website for current information. 

Advisories, Watches and Warnings:

A “Gale Warning” is in effect until 6:00am tomorrow morning for south winds at 35-45 knots. 

The National Weather Service has issued a “Flood Watch” beginning this afternoon through Sunday morning. 

A Special Weather Statement has been issued by the National Weather Service for an increased risk of landslides today and tomorrow due to periods of heavy rainfall. 

A “High Wind Warning” has been issued for south winds of 45-50 mph with gusts to 60 mph or more.  This could result in downed tree limbs and power outages.. 

These advisories, watches, and warnings will be updated as conditions warrant.

Whatcom County Weather. 

Rain is expected to continue with periods of heavy rain today and Saturday. Temperatures will top out around 50 degrees today and tomorrow and winds will continue to increase throughout the evening. Lows tonight will remain in the mid 40s. Tomorrow night temperatures will drop into the low to mid 30s and cooler temperatures are predicted for Sunday and Monday and we may even seem some snowflakes although any accumulation will be less than one inch. Tomorrow morning winds will abruptly shift to the west and the winds, coupled with the tide could produce spray that reaches roadways especially along Birch Bay Drive and Sandy Point.

All Forks of the Nooksack River will continue to rise today and push into minor flooding and perhaps even cross the moderate flooding line which will result in detours and road closures. Low areas are also collecting water and starting to cover lower areas of roads. This will continue through the day and tomorrow. Before you travel, check to make sure the road is clear and even if it’s clear when you leave, it may not be that way when you return. Think about alternate ways to get home. No matter what, do not attempt to drive through water flowing over the road. Refer to the Whatcom County Public Works website and the “Road Closures and Restrictions” page for a current list of road closures at

Coastal Weather for Whatcom County

For the Inland Coastal Waters expect southeast 25-35 knot winds with four to six foot wind waves. Winds will shift to the south and increase to 35-45 knots tonight along with six to eight foot wind waves. Tomorrow winds will drop back to 20-30 knots from the west with three to five foot wind waves.





January 31, 2020



January 31, 2020


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February 2, 2020



Here are a few emergency management reminders:

First, put your Winter Safety Kit in your vehicle if you haven’t done so already. Check the Washington State Department of Transportation website for a list of items to have in your kit.

Second, watch for ice and slush on the roadways especially where the temperature drops below the freezing level. And don’t forget, shaded caused by overhanging trees, mountains, or even buildings can shield the sun from thawing the frost and you could go from a dry area to patches of frost which could cause a loss of traction or vehicle control. Elevation will also make a difference as to where the freezing level is so keep alert.

Third, watch for packed snow or patches of packed snow if you are headed to the ski area or crossing the Cascades over the next couple of days. Slush or snow building up under your vehicle tires can cause your vehicle to ride on top of an unstable surface and can lead to loss of traction and vehicle control.

Fourth, keep an eye on the avalanche notifications and tree well warning. You can find information about both on the Mount Baker Ski Area Website Home Page.

Fifth, don’t drive through water flowing over roads. It only take three to six inches of fast moving water to knock you off your feet and another few inches to move vehicles as large as SUVs.

This briefing line is not updated on weekends unless an incident occurs.

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