Coastal flood watch, high surf warning for Thursday

  • Wed Jan 17th, 2018 8:44pm
  • News

The National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Watch from 4 a.m. Thursday morning through 10 p.m. Thursday evening, with Ocean Shores listed as one of the affected locations. Of particular concern is the impact the impeding high surf could have on erosion near the North Jetty.

A wind advisory also has been issued for sustained winds from the SE at 20-35 mph gusting to 45 mph. Possible local power outages could occur.

• 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, warns the Grays Harbor County Emergency Services Department.

• Some affected locations: Westport, Ocean Shores, Hoquiam, Aberdeen and Taholah.

• Timing — Greatest impacts will be Thursday afternoon and evening (noon to 10 p.m.) 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, said Grays Harbor County Emergency Services.

• 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 also has 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 SEA! 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.

A COASTAL FLOOD WATCH Means conditions favorable for flooding are expected to develop. Coastal residents should be alert for later statements or warnings, and take action to protect property.