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The original item was published from 10/22/2021 10:18:20 AM to 10/28/2021 12:00:03 AM.

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Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: October 22, 2021

[ARCHIVED] October 22, 2021 Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Active Incidents

On August 18th, Governor Inslee ordered a statewide mask mandate.  Please see the Governor's website at the following URL:

COVID-19 - The “Proclamation of Emergency” signed by the Whatcom County Executive concerning COVID-19 remains in effect. 

UPDATE:  The U.S. side of the Canadian border will open to vaccinated Canadians starting in early November (, however until the official date is announced, the U.S. border remains closed to nonessential traffic.  Canada allows fully vaccinated Americans to visit Canada however, there are several additional requirements you need to be aware of.  See Canada Border Services Agency for additional requirements:

Advisories, Watches and Warning

See the Washington State Department of Transportation website for intermittent lane closures on i-5 and SR-11 along Interstate 5 at milepost 250 near Old Fairhaven Parkway and along State Route 11 just west of I-5.  This will go from October 20 through November 30.

NOTE.  Environment Canada has issued a "Strong Wind Warning" for the Strait of Georgia-South of Nanaimo.  Winds southeast 15-25 knots diminishing to southeast 10-15 knots this morning then increasing to southeast 15-25 knots near midnight.  Wind diminishing to southwest 10-15 knots Saturday afternoon then becoming east 15 knots Saturday evening.

Inland Weather

Over the weekend, it looks like we will see two weather systems work their way through our area.  The second one, on Sunday appears to be the stronger of the two; we will see some gusty winds associated with both. Rain will continue through the weekend but it will not be constant.  There may be some mountain snow but this will be above the 4500' level.  It could make some of the passes slippery so if you travel, be prepared for that.  For today, rain becoming intermittent later and redeveloping overnight.  Highs will be in the mid to upper 50s with lows tonight in the upper 40s.  Winds will be from a southerly direction (coastal areas) and out of the northeast tonight (Sumas area)  with gusts that should not be much over 20mph.  Tomorrow, more rain with southeast winds in most areas with gusts to 30mph or a little stronger along the coast, less wind in the interior parts of the county. Temperatures will be a few degrees higher than Friday. Rain continues Saturday night with breezy winds continuing near 30 mph in the Point Roberts area from the south/southwest.  For Sunday, gusty east/southeast winds will affect coastal areas with lesser winds to the interior part of the county. Gusts across the open water will likely be in a range around 40mph.  Hilltops and  higher elevation will also see some of the higher wind gusts and one can't rule out higher gusts from time to time. A fair share of leaves have fallen off the trees, but there are still enough on that some branches could be broken and knock a power line down here or there causing a power outage.  Ground is getting more saturated as well so it's possible a tree may be blown over although this is remote possibility. 

Rivers and Streams

The outlook for rivers and streams over the next several days remains the same; level river with normal flow.  Early next week, Monday afternoon and into Tuesday will see the effects of the previous days rainfall as the Nooksack will begin to rise fairly rapidly.  No flooding is expected from the river but small stream may be a different story depending on deadfall or plugged culverts which would hinder normal drainage-watch for those possibilities.  If you're on or around the river be prepared for faster moving water and deeper water levels.  Leaves may also plug drains along the roads and cause water to pool.  Iowa Street, near the I-5 bridge is one place where this occurs at least once a year.  And there are others.  Water depths of six inches or more will reach the bottom of a car so it is advised you find an alternative route.  Driving into water at substantial speeds can result in loss of vehicle control or even stalling your vehicle.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

 A weak disturbance is moving ashore today with showery weather.  A typical cold front will move through the area Saturday morning.   A 948mb storm will move over the near offshore waters Sunday as the strong front moves through Western Washington.  That deep low pressure system over the offshore waters on Sunday ins expected to track toward northern Vancouver Island on Monday.   Winds.  Today:  S wind 5-15 knots.  Wind waves 2' or less.  Rain.  Tonight:  S wind 5-15 knots becoming SE 15-25 knots after midnight.  Wind waves 2' or less building to 2-4' after midnight.  Rain.  Tomorrow:  SE wind 15-25 knots.  Wind waves 2-4'  Rain.  Tomorrow Night:  S wind 10-20 knots becoming E 15-25 knots after midnight.  Wind waves 2-4'.  Sunday:  E wind 20-30 knots.  Wind waves 3-5'.  Sunday Night:  SE wind 25-35 knots.  Wind waves 4-6'.  While there is no "Small Craft Advisory" issued at the moment, the forecast winds point toward that eventuality a little later today.  Monitor marine weather before going on the waters to make sure you are aware of the latest NWS notices.  The winds for Sunday night are strong enough for the possibility of a "Gale Watch" so be vigilant in watching for that.  


High Tide
Low Tide
October 22, 20210048
October 22, 202107598.56
October 22, 20211313
October 22, 202118117.93
October 23, 20210117
October 23, 202108458.79
October 23, 20211358
October 23, 202118257.69
October 24, 2021
October 24, 2021
October 24, 2021
October 24, 2021

Emergency Management Tips and Reminders

Fall is a time for mushroom picking, hunting, fishing, hiking and exploring. And to be prepared.....

While this is a great time of year, everyone needs to be prepared in the event they find that their planned weekend in the woods does not go the way they intended, and here are a few tips:

Back Country Medical Kit

You definitely need to carry a first aid kit, and for most people and most injuries the following is a good place to start when you are going out in the back country even for a day.  There are lots of good sources on the Internet to find kits but the following list is primarily centered around patching cuts and cleaning wounds in an emergency:

  • Tape and Glue – Duct tape and super glue. Super glue can be used in place of stitches. Athletic tape is great but duct tape can wrap a wound or fix gear so not a bad idea to keep a small roll for multipurpose use.
  • Gauze and Bandages – A few small squares of gauze and several adhesive bandage squares are essential. You can use the large squares and cut them into strips if needed. Primarily used for blisters. You could stuff the gauze in a deep wound to stop bleeding if needed.
  • Disinfectant – Keep a small amount of antiseptic in case of a serious wound and a small tube of triple antibiotic ointment. Rinse wounds with water first then clean everything before patching things up.
  • QuickClot – In a worst case scenario, rapid blood loss can crush your odds of surviving. Hunters and anglers are handling knives and firearms in remote places where accidents can happen. A blood clotting agent will stop the rapid blood loss and can save your life. It’s also easy to find over the counter.
  • Pills – Aspirin for swelling and potential heart problems is a good idea, and if you are out overnight you may want to make sure you have any extra medications you may take just in case.

Back Country Preparedness Kit

As with your first aid kit, there are lots of good sources on the Internet to find kits and the following suggestions are a good place to start, especially if you are going into the foothills and mountains in our area:

  • Water Filtration System - Most of us understand the importance of hydration, but depending on how long you plan to be in the back country it might not be feasible to pack enough water. A small filtration system will allow you to acquire clean drinking water without having to lug around a few gallons.
  • Cooking Pot - This can be used for more purposes than you think. You’ll definitely need it for cooking, but you’ll also need a container to put your freshly filtered water in. And when it starts to get cold you can also heat your water to provide extra warmth. 
  • Leatherman Signal - With implements such as a ferro rod for starting fires, a saw for cutting down branches, and a safety whistle that can be heard from far away, this tool will prove it’s worth when you’re in a rough spot. Keep one in your pocket or clip one on to your backpack.
  • Compact Stove (with fuel) - The modern day camp stove is so compact and easy to use that there is almost no excuse to not have one. Cooking meals, providing heat, and even purifying water (if your filtration system fails). Make sure one of these lives in your bag and the fuel is always full.
  • Trail Mix - Healthy, energy-rich, and no cooking necessary. A small bag of trail mix is a perfect snack for being in the outdoors. Make sure it has a good mix of nuts, dried fruits, bits of dark chocolate and other items to make it tasty.
  • Compass - This may seem a bit old fashioned, but a quality compass is still an incredibly useful tool. When cell service isn’t an option, how will you find your way around? A small compass and an understanding of your surroundings will ensure that you can find your way when all else fails.
  • Flashlight - Even if you don’t plan to be out in the back country past dark, pack a flashlight. Things happen and plans change. If you’re in an unfamiliar part of the woods with no lights, things can go bad fast. Don’t like to carry one? Try a headlamp to keep your hands free.
  • Emergency Blanket - Also known as space-blankets (originally designed by NASA), this compact/light weight item should live in everybody’s bag. The thin mylar sheet works to trap in heat or reflect it making it extremely versatile. It can also double as a make-shift shelter to keep you protected from the elements. 

Both the medical and preparedness items listed here are considered to be the minimum a person should take with them.  They are not intended to be the only things or to suggest that you do not need anything else.  You can find good information locally at:

  • Yeagers, 3101 Northwest Ave, Bellingham, WA  98225, 360.733.1080
  • REI, 400 36th St, Bellingham, WA  98225, 360.647.8955
  • American Alpine Institute, 1515 12th St, Bellingham, WA  98225, 360.671.1505


Information concerning face coverings and other protective actions can be found on the Whatcom County Health Department Website.

These Daily Briefings on Incidents, Advisories, Watches and Warnings, current weather and Emergency Management tips are published Monday through Friday, as well as during times of increased awareness or actual events.

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