Sever Weather Damage 21-18 Emergency Proclamation by the Governor: Covers the severe wind and rainstorm event that began on November 12, 2021. https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/21-18%20-%20Severe%20Weather%20Damage%20%28tmp%29.pdf
NOTE: Fire danger remains high with the North Cascades going to very high as of Thursday at midnight. Two fires located in the North Cascades National Park as of today: 1. Brush Creek 2 Fire (12 miles southeast of Boundary, WA) and 2. Copper Lake Fire (36 miles northeast of Deming, WA).
The Whatcom County Fire Marshall issued a Stage 1 Burn Ban for unincorporated Whatcom County effective Saturday, July 16, 2022. As of that time, all land clearing and yard debris burning was to be discontinued at that time and all issued burn permits are suspended. Recreational fires will still be allowed with the landowner’s permission but must meet specific requirements (see URL: https://www.whatcomcounty.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=3337; or contact the fire marshal's office). Addiotionally,
- If your property lies within Whatcom County Fire Districts (WCFD) 5- Pt. Roberts, 11- Lummi Island, or 17- Sandy Point, you must check with those fire districts for outdoor burning restrictions and to obtain outdoor burning permits (when available).
- If your property lies within, or you are visiting property that is fire protected by Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), or a federal parks or forest agency, you must contact those organizations about outdoor burning restrictions.
ADVISORIES, WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
- Hwy 2: According to Washington State Department of Transportation, On US 2 eastbound & westbound from Fir Rd (MP 32) to Beckler Rd (MP 50) all lanes are closed. Last update was 9/11/2022.
- SR-20 (North Cascade Highway) is open; however, there are several areas that will need to have emergency repairs this spring/summer/fall. Traffic control lights are placed at those locations. Long delays should be expected especially over long weekends and holidays. In addition to emergency repairs there are areas where normal road maintenance is scheduled along with several culvert replacements for fish passage. Check WSDOT website for current conditions before traveling.
Inland Whatcom County Weather
Expect temperatures to begin in the 70s and then gradually drop as we move towards the end of the week. The high in Sumas and Maple Falls today will be in the upper 70s but drop to the low 70s by Thursday and Friday. Other areas of the county will stay in the 70s with one more exception. Newhalem is likely to see 61 degrees by Thursday and Friday. Lows will bein the upper 40s and low 50s. There won't be much wind but some places could see 13 mph from the south or southwest. Newhalem could see a chance for a shower today and tonight and that could spread to other parts of the county tomorrow and tomorrow night. The only problem is the chance of showers is about 20% or so. So we will continue to remain dry which means we must all continue to do our part to help prevent wildfires.
Nooksack River, Creeks and Small Streams
Things remain pretty static with the Nooksack River which is normal for this time of year. Most of the water is snowmelt and it is a slow, steady melt keeping the river level and right about where it is now. Be very careful if planning any activity in the water as cold water shock or hypothermia can occur quickly. Wear a life jacket. Remember, you can always go to the Public Works website to check the river levels - https://www.whatcomcounty.us/666/Forecasts-Current-River-Conditions.
Whatcom County Coastal Weather
A dissipating low pressure center will remain near the outer coastal waters early this week as it falls apart. High pressure rebuilds toward midweek and remains through late in the week until a frontal system likely approaches the waters around next weekend. Winds. TODAY S wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. Haze in the morning. TONIGHT S wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. TUE S wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SW in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 ft or less. A slight chance of showers in the afternoon. TUE NIGHT S wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. WED Light wind. Wind waves less than 1 ft.
Tide Information (Cherry Point)
|DATE||TIME||HIGH TIDE||LOW TIDE|
|September 12, 2022||0119||2.64|
|September 12, 2022||0711||7.92|
|September 12, 2022||1313||1.73|
|September 12, 2022||1939||8.93|
|September 13, 2022||0200||1.76|
|September 13, 2022||0813||7.79|
|September 13, 2022||1355||3.00|
|September 13, 2022||2002||8.65|
|September 14, 2022||0241||1.09|
|September 14, 2022||0918||7.69|
|September 14, 2022||1439||4.24|
|September 14 , 2022||2024||8.30|
Emergency Management Tips and Reminders
Cars and Hot Temperatures
Every year a number of children and pets perish because they are left in vehicles due to high temperatures. It is absolutely critical that everyone understand how rapidly a car can heat up. The following shows the effects after only ten minutes.
At 70 degrees, a car will heat to 89 degrees in ten minutes.
At 75 degrees, a car will heat to 94 degrees in ten minutes
At 80 degrees, a car will heat to 99 degrees in ten minutes
At 85 degrees, a car will heat to 104 degree in ten minutes
At 90 degrees, a car will heat to 109 degrees in ten minutes
At 95 degrees, a car will heat to 114 degrees in ten minutes.
BOTTOM LINE: Do not leave children or pets in vehicles.
Hot weather precautions to reduce the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke
- Stay indoors and in an air-conditioned environment as much as possible unless you're sure your body has a high tolerance for heat.
- Drink plenty of fluids but avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine or a lot of sugar.
- Eat more frequently but make sure meals are balanced and light.
- Never leave any person or pet in a parked vehicle.
- Avoid dressing babies in heavy clothing or wrapping them in warm blankets.
- Check frequently on people who are elderly, ill or may need help. If you might need help, arrange to have family, friends or neighbors check in with you at least twice a day throughout warm weather periods.
- Make sure pets have plenty of water.
- Salt tablets should only be taken if specified by your doctor. If you are on a salt-restrictive diet, check with a doctor before increasing salt intake.
- If you take prescription diuretics, antihistamines, mood-altering or antispasmodic drugs, check with a doctor about the effects of sun and heat exposure.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun. Awnings or louvers can reduce the heat entering a house by as much as 80 percent.
If You Go Outside:
- Plan strenuous outdoor activities for early or late in the day when temperatures are cooler; then gradually build up tolerance for warmer conditions.
- Take frequent breaks when working outdoors.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sun block and light-colored, loose-fitting clothes when outdoors.
- At first signs of heat illness (dizziness, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps), move to a cooler location, rest for a few minutes and slowly drink a cool beverage. Seek medical attention immediately if you do not feel better.
- Avoid sunburn: it slows the skin's ability to cool itself. Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes. A cool shower immediately after coming in from hot temperatures can result in hypothermia, particularly for elderly or very young people.
While we have been extremely fortunate concerning the risk for wildfire to date, things could change rapidly with dry, hot weather. Now is the time to inventory your home environment to see what wildfire risks you can mitigate against. To that extent, the following information was taken from the National Fire Protection Agency on wildfire preparedness. Additional information about the wildfires and the Firewise program can be found at the NFPA website: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Wildfire/Preparing-homes-for-wildfire
1. HOME IGNITION ZONES: To increase your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire, choose fire-resistant building materials and limit the amount of flammable vegetation in the three home ignition zones. The zones include the Immediate Zone: (0 to 5 feet around the house), the Intermediate Zone (5 to 30 feet), and the Extended Zone (30 to 100 feet).
2. LANDSCAPING AND MAINTENANCE: To reduce ember ignitions and fire spread, trim branches that overhang the home, porch, and deck and prune branches of large trees up to 6 to 10 feet (depending on their height) from the ground. Remove plants containing resins, oils, and waxes. Use crushed stone or gravel instead of flammable mulches in the Immediate Zone (0 to 5 feet around the house). Keep your landscape in good condition.
3. ROOFING AND VENTS: Class A fire-rated roofing products, such as composite shingles, metal, concrete, and clay tiles, offer the best protection. Inspect shingles or roof tiles and replace or repair those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration. Box in eaves, but provide ventilation to prevent condensation and mildew. Roof and attic vents should be screened to prevent ember entry.
4. DECKS AND PORCHES: Never store flammable materials underneath decks or porches. Remove dead vegetation and debris from under decks and porches and between deck board joints.
5. SIDING AND WINDOWS: Embers can collect in small nooks and crannies and ignite combustible materials; radiant heat from flames can crack windows. Use fire-resistant siding such as brick, fibercement, plaster, or stucco, and use dual-pane tempered glass windows.
6. EMERGENCY RESPONDER ACCESS: Ensure your home and neighborhood have legible and clearly marked street names and numbers. Driveways should be at least 12 feet wide with a vertical clearance of 15 feet for emergency vehicle access.
7. FINAL THOUGHTS:
- Develop, discuss, and practice an emergency action plan with everyone in your home. Include details for handling pets, large animals, and livestock.
- Know two ways out of your neighborhood and have a predesignated meeting place.
- Always evacuate if you feel it’s unsafe to stay—don’t wait to receive an emergency notification if you feel threatened from the fire.
- Conduct an annual insurance policy checkup to adjust for local building costs, codes, and new renovations. n Create or update a home inventory to help settle claims faster.
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.