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The original item was published from 10/27/2022 8:42:13 AM to 11/2/2022 12:00:04 AM.

News Flash

Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: October 27, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Thursday, October 27, 2022 Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Active Incidents

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


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:; 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.


.- 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 - 

- GALE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM THIS MORNING TO 8 PM PDT THIS EVENING for south winds 25 to 35 knots. This is for the east entrance U. S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca, Northern Inland Waters Including The San Juan Islands and Admiralty Inlet.

- A WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM PDT THIS EVENING for south winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph expected. This is for San Juan County, Western Whatcom County, Western Skagit County, Everett and Vicinity and Admiralty Inlet Area. Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.

- Environment Canada has issued a "Gale Warning" for the Strait of Georgia-South of Nanaimo.  Winds southeast 15-25 knots increasing to southeast 25-35 knots early this morning then diminishing to southerly 15-25 knots near noon.  Wind becoming southerly 10-20 knots late this afternoon then diminishing to light this evening.  Wind increasing to southerly 5-015 knots overnight and to southeast 15-20 knots Friday afternoon.

Inland Whatcom County Weather

Windy and wet over the next 24-30 hours. Winds will continue to increase to 30mph or slightly more with gusts which could reach 50 mph from time to time. The danger with this is a lot of the trees still have most of the leaves on them which will exaggerate the swaying and could lead to some branches breaking off and causing a power outage in a few places though we're not anticipating any widespread outages. Temperatures today will still reach into the mid-50s for most locations although Newhalem will be down around 40. Overnight lows will range from around 34 or so in Maple Falls, to the mid-40s in other locations. Winds will continue to gust into this evening before beginning to subside after midnight. Rain is expected overnight and could be heavy at times. Tomorrow, the day will start off wet and will continue to be so in the foothills and north; however, there could be some breaks after 11:00am especially in the Bellingham area. Highs tomorrow will be much like today. Tomorrow night we'll be cloudy again and the chances for rain will continue.  And that will be the pattern for the next 5-7 days.  Rain will not be steady throughout the period.

Nooksack River, Creeks and Small Streams

Over the next week, expect the Nooksack River and its forks along with small streams to rise and fall several times. There will be not be any flood concerns, but each time the river remains just a little higher before the next wave comes through. That's important if you have plans to be on or near the river.  A fairly dry spot one day may be pretty wet the next.  For a look at the future river levels, use the Public Works website to check the river levels -; it is tied into the NOAAs Northwest River Forecast Center. Plugged or clogged drains and culverts can cause local urban flooding, especially in low areas.  Clean leaves away from grates so water can flow freely. This will help prevent such localized water backups. Also, in rural areas, if you have a culvert that is plugged on your property, take the time to remove branches or other debris so water can flow freely. All of this helps in moving the water out of the areas as quickly as possible which in turn, helps avoid or reduce flooding. Thank you.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

A series of frontal systems will move through the  region through this weekend. The first of these systems will  bring gusty southwest winds ahead of a cold front, switching to  the west behind it. Elevated seas will also occur with each of  these systems.   WINDS: TODAY S wind 15 to 25 kt rising to 25 to 35 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 4 to 6 ft. A chance of rain.  TONIGHT S wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less after  midnight. Rain.  FRI S wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. A chance of  rain.  FRI NIGHT S wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less.  SAT S wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. 

Tide Information (Cherry Point)

October 27, 20220049
October 27, 202208159.21
October 27, 20221319
October 27, 202218048.54
October 28, 20220129
October 28, 202209129.46
October 28, 20221413
October 28, 202218318.46
October 29, 20220213
October 29, 202210139.55
October 29, 20221514
October 29, 202219038.25

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.

Flood Preparedness.  

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 you tube videos explaining a variety of sandbag protective methods.  Whattcom County Public Works also has developed a list of vendors who have sand and sandbags for sale.  See:

Wildfire Preparedness

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:

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.


  • 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.

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