LONG BEACH - "Keep your boots handy!" warns Stephanie K. Fritts, director of Pacific County Communications and Emergency Management.
Citing a conference call Monday afternoon with the National Weather Service, Fritts issued the following advisory for predicted heavy rainfall, wind and the potential for flooding.
Forecasts call for very heavy rain over the next few days. Between 4 a.m. Tuesday and 4 a.m. Wednesday there will be minimum of one inch to one and a half inches of rain for Pacific County. Then from 4 a.m. Wednesday through 4 a.m. Thursday, the rainfall will total over three inches (more likely at least four to six inches).
In Pacific County 8 inches of rainfall in a 24-hour period is problematic, causing flooding over State Route 4 around Naselle and possible flooding in Raymond, depending on tides, Fritts said. Six inches of rain can cause more isolated issues. In Wahkaikum County, intense rain in combination with high tides and melting snow can close the highway and numerous county roads, particularly in the Grays River Valley.
Fritts said the weather service cannot identify the boundary of the incoming system. It is possible that it will not hover over Pacific County, but the uncertainty level is high. Last week the windstorm for New Year's had 80 percent certainty and then never developed.
Rivers of concern include the Willapa and the Naselle. The forecast for the Willapa shows it cresting one-half foot above flood stage on Thursday at 10 a.m. and the Naselle cresting slightly below flood stage at the same time.
In addition there is potential for a blow Tuesday through Thursday morning. A high wind warning is in effect with gusts to 60 mph predicted from Tuesday night throughout Wednesday.
But Fritts notes that an improvement may be on the way.
"Extremely high tides are expected over the coming weekend, but by that time the NWS has forecast a ridge of high pressure building and we may be out of this bothersome weather pattern," she said.