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The original item was published from 1/11/2022 9:03:22 AM to 1/18/2022 12:00:03 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: January 11, 2022

[ARCHIVED] January 11, 2022 Emergency Management Daily Briefing

More rain today and tomorrow will lead to increased risk of landslides as well as push rivers to the brim and perhaps a wee bit over the top in a few places. Some roads are likely to be affected (e.g. Slater and River Rd). Highs: 50 (+/-); Lows: mid-40s.

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. 

Sever Weather Damage 21-18 Emergency Proclamation by the Governor:  Covers the severe wind and rainstorm event that began on November 12, 2021.


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



HEAVY RAINFALL THROUGH WEDNESDAY WILL LEAD TO AN INCREASED THREAT OF LANDSLIDES IN WESTERN WASHINGTON. Heavy precipitation over the past few days and weeks has increased soil moisture to saturated levels across Western Washington. Heavy rainfall is expected through Wednesday with another 1 to 3 inches in the lowlands. This amount of rain will put extra pressure on soil instability, leading to an increased
threat of landslides.

TREE WELL ADVISORY FOR ANYONE TRAVELING INTO THE CASCADES. Tree wells are deep which can prevent someone from escaping and result in suffocation. Always travel in pairs and keep a wide distance from trees.

Inland Weather

We're going to enter a 48-hour period of heavier rain beginning this morning.  Higher elevations could see 2-3 inches of rain over this period.  Temperatures in the lower areas of the county will be around 50 degrees or slightly above while the foothills and Newhalem will be in the upper 40s.  We'll also have a breeze out of the south/southeast around 15 mph with gusts that could reach near 30 mph in places. Lows tonight will likely remain in the 40s and then rise again tomorrow into the low 50s.  The south/southeast winds will be with us again tomorrow.  The rain will stop sometime Thursday and partly cloudy skies are forecast.  Temperatures will be a few degrees cooler but still pretty nice for January. 

The increased rain on top of snow will add to soil instability due to continued saturation; so, the chances for landslides is also increasing.  When traveling through areas known for landslides, stay vigilant.

Rivers and Stream

There will enough rain and snowmelt to cause the rivers to rise near or slightly above minor flood levels over the next couple of days.  The Saxon Bridge Gauge will top out just below 7' with minor flood level set at 8'. Cedarville Gauge will top out at 145.8' with minor flood level at 146.5'.  And Ferndale, will see a little more runoff, and it ever so slightly crosses the minor flood level of 18.0' coming in at 18.1'. However, that is high enough to effect Slater Rd, along with River Rd and likely several other roads.  That said, make sure you monitor radio stations along with other sources just in case something changes. A weather system that stalls could result in dropping more rain than anticipated and awareness will help you make key decisions.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

A vigorous system will move across the area into  Wednesday, and pushing north Wednesday night, bringing another  round of wind to area waters as well as increased swell for the  coastal waters.   Winds.  Today:  SE wind 20 to 30 kt easing to 15 to 25 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. A chance of rain in the morning  then rain in the afternoon. Tonight:  SE wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. Rain.  Tomorrow: SE wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. Rain.    Tomorrow Night:  SE wind 15 to 25 kt becoming S 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. 

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Emergency Management Tips and Reminders

Winter Travel

Winter travel can be extremely dangerous.  Cold temperatures, snow, ice are only a few of the hazards you can encounter when traveling in the the Winter.  Some of the things you should consider are as follows:

Have your car checked to make sure all parts are in good working order.  Tires should have good tread, all lights should be working, and windshield wipers should be changed if they do not provide a clean sweep of moisture on the windshield.

If there is snow on your vehicle, clean as much snow off your vehicle as possible.  Windows should be completely clean for maximum visibility.  Snow left on the hood of your vehicle can blow across your windshield and fog or cloud up inside due to the temperature change (another reason to clean all snow off your vehicle).  Headlights, brake lights, direction lights, etc. should all be clean again to make other drivers see you and know your intentions.

Make sure you have a Winter Safety Kit in you car that contains:  flashlight with extra batteries, cell phone and charger, extra blanket and clothes, high-energy food and water, games to keep children occupied, small shovel, sand or mat for traction if you encounter icy conditions, among other things deemed necessary.

If you are running your car to remain warm, remember to leave a window open to prevent a build-up of carbon monoxide.

Before leaving on a trip, call ahead and let someone know the time you are departing and your route of travel.  Likewise, upon arrival at your destination, let contact know you have arrived.


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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