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The original item was published from 11/8/2022 9:20:17 AM to 11/15/2022 12:00:02 AM.

News Flash

Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: November 8, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Tuesday, November 08, 2022 Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Active Incidents



-The second atmospheric river of the season is forecasted to bring heavy rains to our region today. At this time, the river is expected to crest slightly above flood stage at Acme with  all other forecast points remaining below flood stage.  SR-9 may be impacted by Acme if the forecast holds true.  You can check the most current weather forecasts and projected Nooksack River levels on our website at


- A GALE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM PST THIS EVENING for northeast winds 25 to 35 kt. This is for the northern inland waters Including The San Juan Islands.

- A WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM PST THIS EVENING for northeast winds 20 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. This is for San Juan County and Western Whatcom County.

- Environment Canada has issued a "Strong Wind Warning" for the Strait of Georgia-South of Nanaimo.  Wind northerly 15-25 knots except north 30 knots near the mouth of Howe Sound.  Wind becoming northwest 15-20 knots late this morning then diminishing to northerly 5-15 knots late overnight except northeast 20 knots near the mouth of Howe Sound.  Wind becoming light Wednesday morning then becoming southeast 5-15 knots Wednesday evening.

Inland Whatcom County Weather

Expect wind for the northern and eastern half of Whatcom County today. Even though we will experience mostly sunny skies, wind chills will be cold (feels like 20s). The thermometer will show readings in the 40s for most locations today dropping down to upper teens in Newhalem and low to mid 20s in other locations. The winds will be out of the northeast and stay with us through tomorrow. They will remain blustery in Sumas through the night and into tomorrow while the rest of us will see the winds taper off to 10-15 mph with some gusts to 20 mph. Tomorrow, we will see mostly sunny skies again but not much relief in terms of temperatures where we continue to be stuck in the low to mid-40s. Higher elevations such as Maple Falls, Newhalem and especially the ski resort will be colder. Presently, there are no weather systems entering the area for the next five days so we'll only have to deal with the colder temperatures.

Nooksack River, Creeks and Small Streams

All forks of the Nooksack River have dropped to normal levels and, there is nothing at the present time that shows any change.  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.  

Even though there is no high water concern at the moment, it is good to point out all of the cautions and warnings about not driving through water flowing over roads. Six inches of flowing water can move SUVs.  Research alternate routes to get to and from your destination should you need to use them.  Remember, river levels can change quickly, so don't put yourself in a position where you become stranded.   

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 

A surface low offshore in concert with high  pressure within interior BC will keep the influence of Fraser  River Outflow into Tuesday. Because of this, Small Craft  Advisories and Gale Warnings are posted. Surface high pressure is  on tap to build into the region around midweek allowing any  remaining headlines to expire but offshore flow will persist for  the remainder of the week.   WINDS: TODAY NE wind 25 to 35 kt becoming N 20 to 30 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 4 to 6 ft.  TONIGHT N wind 20 to 30 kt becoming NE 15 to 25 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft.  WED NE wind 15 to 25 kt becoming N 5 to 15 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft or less in the  afternoon.  WED NIGHT E wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less.  THU E wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less.  

There are several periods over the next few days where winds will remain in the "Small Craft Advisory and Gale Wind" ranges. Monitor marine weather for the latest information or changes. Tide Information 

(Cherry Point)

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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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