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
The Whatcom County Fire Marshall issued a Stage 1 Burn Ban for unincorporated Whatcom County effective Saturday, July 16, 2022; this burn ban remains in effect today. 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:
.- SR-20 (North Cascade Highway). Several single lane closures are in effect for this week. Flaggers or temporary signals will be used to control traffic. Check the WSDOT website for updates on closure status - https://wsdot.com/travel/real-time/alerts/road/020
-Air Quality Alert: IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 PM PDT THURSDAY. An Air Quality Alert for Smoke has been issued by the following agency - Northwest Clean Air Agency. The air quality is expected to remain or become unhealthy for sensitive groups to unhealthy. The majority of impacts are expected Tuesday and Wednesday, but may extend into Thursday.
Inland Whatcom County Weather
Temperatures are going to be a little cooler than originally forecast at the beginning of the week. Look for highs today mostly in the mid to upper 60s with Pt Roberts seeing upper 50s. Lows overnight will drop into the mid-40s. Wind will continue to be light and variable for the next couple of days. Skies will be patchy fog in the morning, clear off so the sun can shine late morning and afternoon and then repeat the process tomorrow. Thursday will see increasing clouds and Pt Roberts will see the wind pickup with gusts to 31 mph possible. Rain is expected Friday with shower to follow the remainder of the weekend. Change is definitely in the air.
Nooksack River, Creeks and Small Streams
The weather system moving into the area on Friday will have a little affect on the Nooksack River Forks; basically, the level will come up a little and the flow will increase. The same goes for small streams. With the leaves falling however, they will tend to aggregate around drains and culverts which could block or restrict water flow through some of them. Working as a small dam, that could back water up a little. In summary, the bottom line is there are no concerns about the river and stream levels at this time. One last thing, if you are planning any activity on the river; hypothermia is a real threat should you become wet. Also, don't forget, 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
Light offshore flow through mid-week will bring light winds and quiet seas to area waters. By the end of this week, a much stronger, more fall-like frontal system is likely, with the threat for stronger winds and hazardous seas. WINDS: TODAY SE wind to 10 kt becoming W in the afternoon. Wind waves 1 ft or less. TONIGHT W wind to 10 kt becoming N after midnight. Wind waves 1 ft or less. WED NW wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. WED NIGHT W wind to 10 kt becoming S 5 to 15 kt after midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less. THU S wind 15 to 25 kt becoming W to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less in the afternoon. THU NIGHT W wind 5 to 15 kt in the evening becoming light. Wind waves 2 ft or less. FRI S wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. Note: Possible small craft advisory Thursday due to S winds 15-25 knots. No watch or warning as of yet.
Tide Information (Cherry Point)
Emergency Management Tips and Reminders
Fall Cleanup and Maintenance for Your Car
Fall weather is here along with the changes that come with it. Here are a few things to accomplish as we transition to the unsettled weather:
-Inspect your car battery. Check the connections to make sure they are snug and tight. If there is a lot of corrosion around the post, have them cleaned so connections remain solid. Cold cranking amps are important as the days get colder. Check with your service provider to make sure your battery is up to the task; there's nothing worse than the fading cranking power of our battery on a cold day.
-Check your headlights to make sure they are not glazed or clouded over. With time, oxidation creates a film that results in a dimmer and more restricted illumination field. Having someone clean them or cleaning them yourself will make a dramatic improvement.
-Tires are extremely important for several reasons. Remaining tread provides traction as well as channeling water away from the place where the tire contacts the road. Reduction in tread enables water to build under the tire leading to hydroplaning and loss of control. Tread helps ensure better traction in snow.
-Streaks on your windshield or the inability of the wipers to make solid contact with the windshield is a sure indicator your visibility is probably being limited as well. If you're experiencing this, it's time to get new wipers. You can install them yourself, or in some cases depending on where you purchase them, attendants will install them for you.
-Car repair in general. if your vehicle is demonstrating abnormal issues (e.g. difficult starting, unknown noises, blower fans not working or squeaking/rattling, etc.), have them looked at as soon as you can as you will soon need the defrost function in your car and other issues are unlikely to get better on their own.
Several inquiries have been made to this office regarding sand and sandbags. Whatcom County does not provide either prior to a proclamation of emergency which is issued when flood conditions are clearly defined. In addition, the number of bags the county has is limited and obtaining sand or additional sandbags in the midst of a flood fight may be impossible or delayed, at the very least. The number of locations where these items are placed is also limited. If you are concerned about the need for sand or sandbags, now is the time for you to purchase these items through local vendors or order the sandbags online. Sand can be obtained through local landscaping or sand and gravel companies. In addition to sand and sandbags, some responders use plastic layered with sandbags to provide a protective barrier. There are a number of short videos on line explaining a variety of protective methods.
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:
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.