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The original item was published from 10/27/2021 11:57:31 AM to 11/2/2021 12:00:03 AM.

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Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: October 26, 2021

[ARCHIVED] October 26, 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

The National Weather Service has issued a "Flood Watch " from Thursday afternoon through Thursday night for Whatcom County due to moderate to heavy rain Wednesday through Thursday.  Continue to monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible flood warnings.

Environment Canada has issued a "Strong Wind Warning" in effect for the Strait of Georgia-South of Nanaimo.  Wind southeast 10-15 knots diminishing to light this afternoon then increasing to southeast 10-15 knots early this evening.  Wind increasing to east 15-25 knots near midnight then becoming east 15-20 knots Thursday morning.  Wind increasing to northwest 20-30 knots Thursday afternoon.

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

While Bellingham is seeing a few rays of sun at the moment, that will changes as the day goes on and everyone will begin to see rain pushing into the area again.  Temperatures will be in the mid-50s today and mid-40s tonight.  There will be some wind that will set in across the northern part of the county.  South/southwest winds will reach Pt Robert and Sumas today with Pt Roberts seeing gusts in the mid 20mph range.  That will continue tonight.  The rest of the county sill see lighter winds. Overnight, there will be periods of heavier rain in the foothills and higher elevations.  Tomorrow, temperatures will be about the same and there will be some northeast switching to the northwest winds with the highest gust in Point Roberts tomorrow night-as high as 34mph. Nehalem could see2-3" of rain tomorrow and it appears there will be some southwest wind there as well with gusts to 25 mph. Now the good news, Friday is going to be a clearing day with partly sunny to sunny skies around the area.  Saturday and Sunday are predicted to be sunny with highs in the mid 50s.  Lows will drop into the upper 30s due to the clear skies.

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

It is almost a certainty small streams and even the Nooksack River will be running near full bank levels over the next couple of days.  The Northwest River Forecast Center shows the Nooksack River level ever so slightly topping the minor flood threshold.  If you live in a low area, you'll want to take note of that and whether or not you have been impacted in the past by such a notice.  If you live or travel where small streams easily flood, you'll want to pay close attention as they may do so tonight or tomorrow.  And, if you have culverts or drains nearby that are clogged or plugged, water may start to collect and pool which can be hazardous if you drive into it at a rapid speed.  Any heavy rain can cause ponding on the roads which could cause hydroplaning; it can also interfere with your visibility if your windshield wipers cannot keep up.  Sound advice begins with slowing down and turning your lights on while driving to make sure other drivers see you.  Make sure you use your signal to inform other drivers of your intentions to move left or right and increase the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.  Monitor the Whatcom County Public Works website for road closures or detours due to water on the road.  And, plan now what an alternate route would be to get to and from your destination and  the additional travel time required. 

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

A frontal system will stall over the area Wednesday night with low level offshore flow over the weekend.   Winds.  Today:  S wind 10-20 knots.  Wind wavers 1-3'.  A chance of rain. Tonight:  SW wind 10-20 knots becoming SE after midnight.  Wind waves 1-3'.  A chance or rain in the evening then rain after midnight.  Tomorrow:  E wind 10-20 knots becoming SW 15-25 knots in the afternoon.  wind waves 2-4'.  Rain.  Tomorrow Night:  NW wind 15-25 knots.  Wind waves 2-4'.  Note.  15-25 knots winds usually result in a "Small Craft Advisory" being issued at some point.  None has been issued yet, but...Monitor Marine weather to ensure you get the latest updates.

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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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