Storm snaps Ocean Shores seahorse, knocks out power

The wind storm that roared into Western Washington late Saturday night toppled the iconic Ocean Shores seahorse driftwood sculpture for the second time since it was erected outside the Convention Center as part of a public art project.

The seahorse, named Stix in a contest involving local students last year, was mostly intact and not fully reduced to sticks, with the damage mostly confined to its base, where it appeared to have snapped in the wind.

Wind gusts of 50-60 mph were reported from Westport to Queets on the coast, the National Weather Service reported, with the winds subsiding about 4 a.m. Sunday.

The 35-foot driftwood seahorse was first put up on Chance a la Mer outside the Convention Center in 2014, but then it snapped at its 8-by-8 wooden center beam in a March 2015 storm.

Supervising artist Dan Klennert at that time then reconstructed the pieces, and essentially created an entire new sculpture, which was re-installed in 2016 with what was purported to be a more secure center beam.

Ocean Shores Mayor Crystal Dingler said it was too early yet to assess the damage and what would be done with the seahorse.

“I just don’t think putting it back in the same spot is necessarily a good thing,” Dingler said.

The storm Saturday and Sunday caused widespread power outages across the North Beach, including all of Ocean Shores, Copalis Beach, Copalis Crossing, Pacific Beach, Moclips, Taholah and Quinault. The Grays Harbor PUD reported more than 22,000 customers in the county lost power overnight. Customers who are still without power are advised to call the PUD Outage Hotline at (360) 537-3721 or 1-888-541-5923.

Areas of continued concern in Ocean Shores were where erosion already has been a problem, notably along the jetty to the water treatment plant, at Mariner Court along the Harbor and at Damon Point, where the beach approach now has a sharp dropoff caused by the high wave and storm erosion.