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The original item was published from 11/4/2021 10:34:46 AM to 11/11/2021 12:00:02 AM.

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Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: November 4, 2021

[ARCHIVED] November 04, 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. 


The United States has announced that fully vaccinated, non-citizen travelers with appropriate documentation will be permitted to enter the United States for non-essential travel via land Ports Of Entry and ferry terminals starting on November 8, 2021 and has released this fact sheet to assist those entering the United States.

Canada allows fully vaccinated Americans to visit Canada with these Canadian requirements:

Advisories, Watches and Warning

A  "Gale Warning" is in effect until 11:00pm this evening for south winds 25-35 mph for the east entrance US waters Strait of Juan De Fuca -Northern Inland Waters including teh San Juan Islands, and Admiralty Inlet. 

Environment Canada has issued a "Strong Wind Warning" for the Strait of Georgia-South of Nanaimo.  Wind southeast 10-15 knots increasing to southeast 15-25 knots this morning then veering to southwest 25 knots this afternoon with gusts to 30 knots .  Wind backing to southeast 15-20 knots this evening then increasing to southeast 20-30 knots near midnight.   Wind diminishing to southeast 10-16 knots Friday morning then increasing to southeast 15-20 knots near noon Friday.

Beginning November 6th and continuing through November 11th, we will see our first period of King Tides which will be around the ten foot level.  Additional periods will occur in December and January.  Strong westerly winds can sometimes cause spray or even a "pushing" effect to carry water onto roadways that are at sea level.  Nothing is forecast at this time other than we are entering the Kind Tide season. 

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

Rain continues today across the county with temperatures still reaching to the mid to upper 50s in most locations.  Expect lows tonight in the low to mid-40s.  There will be some wind today with gusts mostly from the south near 40 mph along the coast and part of the interior.  Sumas will have northeast winds today switching later to an east/southeast direction.  Everyone else can expect a southerly wind. Rain will continue overnight and the wind will as well but will taper off somewhat tomorrow.  There will be a change in the temperatures as it will be about five degrees cooler for the high and low.  And, if you're up in Newhalem, temperatures will be near the freezing mark with rain/snow mixtures in the forecast through the weekend.  At the ski resort, it looks like there will be some snow accumulation over the next five days as well.

Rivers and Streams

The Northwest River Forecasts Center has updated there outlook for the Nooksack River and it looks like we're going to see a bit more water flowing into the river system than originally thought.  While there is no river flooding forecast, the levels are forecast to rival those of last week's rise.  You should expect the level to begin rising today with the higher levels continuing for the next 36 hours or so.  The Saxon Bridge gauge is showing the river already starting an upward trend with Ferndale likely to see that occurring in the next 6-12 hours.  Small streams may exceed their banks in locations and low spots could see water pooling.  Remember, traveling through standing water may conceal the water's actual depth and water flowing over the road can move vehicles as large as SUVs.  The best choice is to not drive through it and instead, turn around and find an alternate route.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

A frontal system move across the waters today.  Several additinola fronts will cross the waters through early next week.  Winds.  Today:  SE winds 25-35 knots.  Wind waves 4-6'.  Rain.                 Tonight:  SW  wind 25-35 knots becoming SE 15-25 knots after midnight.  Wind waves 2-4'.  Rain in the evening then rain likely after midnight. Tomorrow:  S wind 20-30 knots easing to 15-25 knots in the afternoon.  Wind waves 3-5.  Rain. Tomorrow Night:  S wind 10-20 knots becoming E after midnight.  Wind waves 1-3. Note.  Once the "Gale Warning" expires this evening, winds will still be in the "Small Craft Advisory" category.  Expect the National Weather Service to follow the Gale Waring with a Small Craft Advisory.  Monitor Marine Weather for short-notice changes.

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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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