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The original item was published from 10/23/2021 11:40:58 AM to 10/30/2021 12:00:02 AM.

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Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: October 23, 2021

[ARCHIVED] October 23, 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

10/23 Update: "Small Craft Advisory" remains in effect until 3:00pm this afternoon for southeast winds 20-30 knots for Northern Inland Waters including San Juan Islands.

10/23 Update:  "Gale Warning" in effect from midnight tonight to 5:00am Tuesday morning for Northern Inland Waters including San Juan Islands.

10/23 Update:  "High Wind Warning"  in effect from 8:00am Sunday to 5:00am Tuesday for western Whatcom County.  Southeast winds 35-45 mph with gusts up to 60 mph are expected.

10/23 Update:  Environment Canada has issued a Gale Warning for the Strait of Georgia-South of Nanaimo. Wind southeast 15-25 knots becoming southeasterly 15 knots this afternoon then increasing to easterly 15-25 knots near midnight.  Wind increasing to easterly 25-35 nots Sunday  morning.  

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

10/23 Update:  The most important update is the "High Wind Warning" and the potential impacts that go along with that.  First,  wind gusts if they reach close to 60mph have the potential to create a more widespread power outage scenario as tree branches or even weakened trees can be blown over and knock down power lines.  High winds will prevent power restoration crews from addressing power outages during this period.  Second, there could be some roads that become closed if large branches or trees are blown over. Third, temperatures will remain in the mid to upper 40s, so nothing extreme. Fourth, , loose items can be blown around by winds; son any outdoor furniture or boards, etc. cold be carried away or even act as projectiles. Rain expectations remain about the same-showers today, steady rain beginning and continuing for the next several days.  Elevations above 4500' could see some snow; making passes slippery. Our temperatures will continue to range in the 50-58 degree range for highs in lower parts of the county with higher elevations a little cooler.  Higher elevations will be 5-10 degrees cooler.  Lows at night will be in the 40s for most areas except the higher elevations.

NOTE.  If you encounter downed wires, treat them as if they are live.  Do not attempt to cross them; turn around and find an alternative route.  For power outages, do not call 911; notify PSE. 

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 front will move through the area this morning.  Deep low pressure will move over the nearshore waters Sunday as the strong front moves through Western Washington.  This low is expected to track toward northern Vancouver Island on Monday.   Winds.  Today:  SE wind 20-30 knots easing to 15-25 knots in the afternoon.  Wind waves 3-5'.  Rain in the morning then a chance of rain in the afternoon.  Tonight:  S wind 5-15 knots becoming SE 15-25 knots after midnight.  Wind waves 2' or less building to 2-4' after midnight.  A slight chance of rain in the evening.  Tomorrow:  E wind 15-25 knots becoming 25-35 knots in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2-4' building to 4-6' in the afternoon.  Rain likely in the morning then rain in the afternoon. Tomorrow Night:  SE wind 25-35 knots.  Wind waves 4-6'.  Monday:  SE wind 25-35 knots.  Wind waves 4-6'.  Monday Night:  SE wind 25-35 knots.  Wind waves 4-6.'


High Tide
Low Tide
October 23, 20210117
October 23, 202108458.79
October 23, 20211358
October 23, 202118257.69
October 24, 20210147
October 24, 202109338.90
October 24, 20211449
October 24, 202118417.46
October 25, 2021
October 25, 2021
October 25, 2021
October 25, 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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