Wind Advisory and Coastal Flood Watch Issued for Grays Harbor County

Sunset at Ruby beach after a stormy day. Image by Douglas Scott.

Submitted by Grays Harbor County Emergency Management

The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a Coastal Flood Watch, which is in effect from 4:00 a.m. early morning Thursday, January 18  through 10:00 p.m. Thursday evening.

A Wind Advisory has also been issued from 10:00 am Wednesday through 6:00 pm Wednesday for sustained winds from the SE at 20-35 mph gusting to 45 mph. Possible local power outages could occur.

* Coastal Flooding – Coastal Flooding is possible along the shores and in the harbors of the Central Washington Coast (Grays Harbor County), around the time of High Tides on Thursday. Large swells of 25 – 30 Feet or more will reach the coast on Thursday afternoon, pushing water onto the coast and into harbors. Waves this size cause dangerous conditions on beaches and can flood parts of coastal towns.

* Some affected locations – Westport, Ocean Shores, Hoquiam, Aberdeen and Taholah.

* Timing – Greatest impacts will be Thursday afternoon and evening (noon to 10pm). Waves will diminish after that but may remain above 20 feet through Friday.

* Tide info -There is a high tide Thursday afternoon. If the biggest waves arrive at the time of high tide, impacts could be somewhat greater. However, with waves of this size, there will be impacts regardless of the time of high tide.

* Impacts – Beach run-up by waves will be extensive, and beach erosion is possible. Low – lying areas and roadways near shorelines could experience saltwater flooding. Some levees and other structures are likely to be overtopped by the biggest waves. Downtown Westport has had flooding during episodes of extremely high swell in past years. The southern tip of the Ocean Shores Peninsula has also had some erosion in previous events.

Grays Harbor County Emergency Management urges caution while on beaches and near piers and jetties during this event. Do Not Turn Your Back To The See. Waves will run much farther up beaches and can overtop jetties and piers easily and without notice. Use caution while driving due to the possibility of saltwater flooding impacting low lying coastal roads leading in and out of coastal towns and cities.

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