Life in Bay Center on Willapa Bay

Living in a maritime fishing village in Southwest Washington state on Willapa Bay

State of emergency declared in Pacific County

per Chinook Observer, Wed. Dec 5, 2007 at 10:14 PM

PACIFIC COUNTY – Pacific County and the cities of South Bend, Raymond, Long Beach and Ilwaco have declared an emergency and activated the Emergency Operations Center in South Bend in response to Sunday’s and Monday’s windstorm, according to Pacific County Emergency Management.

The county and Washington state have both declared an official disaster, paving the way for outside help. The National Guard is on the scene in South Bend providing assistance in North County.

Power remains out to the majority of Pacific County. The Bonneville Power Authority main transmission lines between Aberdeen and Raymond are down. The public should plan for an extended power outage, lasting from two to five additional days.

The PUD is requesting that residents turn off all circuit breakers with the exception of one circuit powering a light that will indicate power return. Once power returns, residents are asked to turn on further circuit breakers one at a time over a period of two hours. This will result in a successful restart of power through the county.

Washington State Highway 105, Highway 6 and Highway 4 remain closed. Crews are clearing hundreds of downed trees and clearing mudslides. Water remains over some roads. Numerous county roads are closed and others are limited to travel in one lane. The County recommends that people limit travel and when traveling to carry an emergency kit in their vehicle, including blankets, food, water and first aid supplies.

Coastal flood warnings are continuing through Wednesday. In addition, a high surf warning is in effect and residents are urged to stay off the beaches.

Public water systems are operating, but at reduced capacity. The public is urged to conserve water. Those homes served by wells should contact relatives and friends on municipal water systems and haul enough drinking water for up to seven days. Alternate power sources are being delivered to water supply sources in order to facilitate water delivery to residents.

Landline telephone service remains intermittent. Most cell service in the county is inoperable. Emergency response radio capabilities have also been impaired. Please make calls only as necessary so that circuits will not be overwhelmed.

911 emergency service is impaired. Emergency calls may be dialed to any of the following numbers: 642-9397, 360-875-9397, 360-875-5531, 360-484-7397 or 360-267-8397. These numbers are for emergency calls only.

Any resident that is stranded, isolated, or I need of non-emergent assistance, may call the Pacific County Emergency Operations Center at 642-9340 or 360-875-9340.

Ocean Beach Hospital in Ilwaco has opened a daily soup kitchen from noon to 6 p.m. until power is restored. The Raymond Elks is operating a daily soup kitchen from noon to midnight until further notice.

The Grace Family Fellowship Church in Seaview at 38th and Pacific Highway has opened as a shelter as well.

An emergency services kitchen and shelter is available at the South Bend Elementary School. The American Red Cross is responding and will assist in operations.

The county is working on identifying sources of medical equipment, oxygen and medications for those in need. Ocean Beach Hospital has opened an Urgent Care Clinic at the hospital. Those requiring urgent care should check in at the main desk.

Raymond Drug, located in Willapa Market Place, will be open daily at 10 a.m. for refills only. The Long Beach Pharmacy will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Gasoline and fuel is in short supply. Two gas stations in the Naselle area are currently in operation; however there is no public gas fueling in the rest of the county at this time. Emergency response vehicles are being supplied through alternate sources. The public is urged not to drive unless absolutely necessary.

The Pacific County EOC communications is being supported with Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services volunteers, in addition to health, fire, city, National Guard, Department of Public Works and law enforcement personnel.

Additional information will be published as soon as it becomes available. Information is also available by Internet at www.co.pacific.wa.us/sheriff.

The damage assessment process has begun. Residents and businesses that have damages are asked to report them by calling 642-9340 or 360-875-9340.

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