Newsflash Home
The original item was published from 10/26/2021 9:48:06 AM to 11/2/2021 12:00:03 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: October 26, 2021

[ARCHIVED] October 26, 2021 Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Showers turning to steady rain later. Highs, mid-50s with south winds gusting to 30mph; lows tonight in the mid-40s with south winds gusting to 20+mph with rain. Tomorrow, rain with similar temperatures. Rain, heavy in foothills Thursday/Thursday night.

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

A "Small Craft Advisory" is in effect now through 6:00pm this evening.  southeast winds 15-30 knots will affect the Strait of Juan De Fuca-Northern Inland Waters including the San Juan Islands. 

Environment Canada has issued a "Strong Wind Warning" in effect for the Strait of Georgia-South of Nanaimo.  Wind southeast 15-20 knots increasing to southeast 25 knots near noon then diminishing to southwest 10-15 knots this evening.  Wind backing to southeast 10-15 knots Wednesday morning.

The National Weather Service has posted a Hydrologic Outlook statement for later this week as a couple of weather systems transit our area. A Pacific moisture stream will set up for a few days that will produce some heavy snow in the mountains and heavy rain in the lower areas.  The result is water will drain rapidly into streams and rivers causing them to rise rather sharply. The Nooksack will certainly run much higher but at this time, indications are it will remain below flood level.  Small streams may pose a different picture as it takes much less to drive the water out of banks-be on guard for this. Culverts and drains may also become plugged from all the leaves blown off the trees from the wind over the weekend, plugging them from allowing water to drain and forcing water to collect in lower areas and possible back up over roads, watch for that as well. None of this is out of the ordinary for us at this time of the year.  Rain has saturated the ground, leaves and debris plug culverts, and heavy rain forces the river to rise. You and I are the key elements in maintaining awareness and avoiding water over the roads; take an alternate route to your destination.  The only thing you lose it a small amount of time.  

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.

Inland Weather

Showers continue today and will turn to a steady rain.  This will continue into Friday.  Thursday and Thursday night will see some heavy rains in the foothills and Newhalem area.  This rain will lead to rapidly rising rivers and streams on Thursday and Friday. For today expect temperature in the mid-50s and rain for most areas except Newhalem where it will be in the 40s along with rain. There will also be some southerly wind with Point Roberts experiencing the higher gusts which could reach 40mph.  Other areas along the coast will see gusts in the 25-30 mph range with the interior areas of the county having less wind.  Tonight, rain continues across the county with temperatures in the mid-40s with higher elevations five degrees lower; a southerly breeze will continue.  Tomorrow, more rain and highs again in the mid-50s.  Wind gusts will still be near 20 mph.  Temperatures tomorrow night will be about the same as tonight.

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 National Weather Service is watching a  moisture stream moving in from the Pacific in a day or two.  Small streams along with the Nooksack River will rise Thursday and Friday; however, the Northwest River Forecast Center does not show (at this time) that flooding will occur. The ground is pretty saturated now which will play a role in water draining into the river system. The National Weather Service will have more to say about expected rainfall amounts tomorrow. As a general statement, heavy rain is likely to cause small streams to exceed their banks initially and any debris clogging culverts or rains will enable water to pool and possibly backup on roads. As you've heard it said many times, "Don't drive through water flowing over roads, and even standing water can be deceptive in its depth. Find an alternative route."

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

A weak front will move through the waters today.  Another system will stall over the area Wednesday night through Thursday night.  High pressure building over the waters with low level offshore flow over the weekend.  Winds.  Today:  SE wind 15-25 knots rising to 20-309 knots in the afternoon.  Wind waves 3-5'.  A chance of rain in the morning then rain in the afternoon. Tonight:  SW wind 15-25 knots easing to 10-20 knots after midnight.  Wind waves 2-4'.  Showers likely in the evening then a slight chance of showers after midnight. Tomorrow:  S wind 10-20 knots becoming 5-15 knots in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1-3'  Showers.  Tomorrow Night:  SE wind 5-15 knots becoming E 15-205 knots after midnight.  Wind waves 2' or less building to 2-4' after midnight.  We're going to see some back and forth wind velocities with regards to Small Craft Advisory-level winds.  Monitor Marine weather to ensure you get the latest updates.

October 26, 20210300
October 26, 2021
October 26, 2021
October 26, 2021
October 27, 2021
October 27, 2021
October 28, 2021
October 28, 2021
October 29, 2021
October 29, 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.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing