Incident Hotline

Incident Hotline - Thursday, April 18, 2019 

Advisories, Watches and Warnings:

There is a “small craft advisory” that went into effect at 0600 this morning and it will remain in effect until 3:00pm this afternoon. Winds from the southeast at 15-25 knots can cause wind waves of two to four feet. 

The Northwest Avalanche Center has stopped its forecasting activities for the 2018-2019 winter season but will start up again this fall. 

The Cascade Scenic Highway SR-20; it is scheduled to reopen today at 9:00 am.

.Birch Bay Drive Remains Impacted:

  1. Birch Bay Drive north of Harborview has a suffered significant damage. Whatcom County Public Works has opened one lane northbound only between Harborview and Shintaffer with a 10 miles per hour speed limit. Southbound traffic from Birch Bay Village and Birch Point must use Shintaffer to Lincoln / Anderson roads for ingress and egress. Persons driving South from Shintaffer to Harborview may be subject to citation and a fine. There is no date for repairs to Birch Bay Drive .
  2. Birch Bay Drive south of Harborview - Whatcom County Public Works has opened Birch Bay Drive south of Harborview, both north and south, however the shoulders remain closed due to damage and debris. Pedestrians and bicyclists should use caution in this area until cleanup is complete.

Whatcom County Weather:

Expect rainy conditions across the county today with the possibility of a rain/snow mixture at elevations near or above the Mt Baker Ski Area.  Winds will be from the south here in Bellingham in the 9-14 mph range  but variable as you enter the foothills and head towards NewHalem.  It will be breezy at the ski area with winds from the south 18-23 mph with gusts to 30 mph.  High temperatures have will be in the mid to upper 50s for most of the county but, about ten degrees cooler at the ski resort. Expect showers tomorrow with temperatures about the same.  The wind will generally in the 5-15 mph range depending on whether you’re near the coast where they will be at the higher end of the range or the interior part of the county.  As we enter the weekend we should see sun on Saturday and Sunday and the temperatures will warm up to the low to mid-60s before dropping back on Monday.  Lows will be in the mid-40s.

The Nooksack River level will start to rise from the rain and we can expect it to peak early tomorrow morning in the Saxon Bridge area, tomorrow at noon or a little later at Cedarville, and then late tomorrow and into early Saturday in the Ferndale area.  You can expect the level to come up substantially compared to the level this morning, but it will remain below flood level by a good margin.

Coastal Weather for Lummi Nation, Birch Bay, Lummi Island, Strait of Georgia, Pt. Roberts, Bellingham, and Blaine 

For Coastal Whatcom County, once again, a small craft advisory is in effect until 3:00pm this afternoon.  Winds at this time are from the southeast at 15-25 knots causing wind waves of two to four feet.  Expect the winds to switch to the south/southwest and drop to 10-20 knots overnight with wind waves decreasing to one to three feet.  Tomorrow the winds will begins from the southwest at 5-15 knots and then increase to 15-25 knots tomorrow night and switch to the west.  If the 15-25 knot forecast holds, you can expect another small craft advisory to be issued for tomorrow night.  Saturday the wind will switch to the northwest and be in the 10-20 knot range.

High tide at Cherry Point this afternoon will be 8.0’ at 5:50pm.  Friday’s high tides will be 9.1’ at 5:42am and 8.4’ at 6:51pm.  For Saturday, the first high tide will occur at 6:10 am and be 8.9’ with the second one at 7:49pm and it will reach 8.7’.

 Emergency Preparedness

It's a good idea to keep you winter safety kit in your car for another couple of weeks or so.  Include extra blankets, flashlight, extra batteries, food, and water as a minimum.  See “Winter driving-Emergency Car Kit” on the Washington State Department of Transportation website.  

Make sure your gas tank is at least half-full during winter months.  If you become stranded and run your vehicle to keep warm, make sure the exhaust is clear of obstacles including snow, and open the window slightly to keep carbon monoxide from building up inside 

Remember, think safety and be prepared!  This hotline will not be updated over the weekend unless an incident occurs.  

Contact: Wallace Kost, 360.778.7165, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management