PENINSULA - Many residents north of 227th Street in Klipsan Beach welcomed sunny skies Tuesday as a power outage stretched into a second day following the intense wind storm that struck during early-morning hours Monday.
A gust of 99 mph was recorded after daylight Monday at U.S. Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment, where the exposed headlands are infamous for receiving the full brunt of North Pacific storms. The most intense sustained winds hit Cape D between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., but a gust of 92 mph was recorded at 7:15 a.m. and winds blew at up to 50-60 mph throughout Monday afternoon.
Tom Downer of Jack's Country Store in Ocean Park reported that his wind gauge was torn away during the storm. Emergency responders and volunteers with chainsaws stayed very busy clearing highways and streets, which were blocked in numerous locations by fallen branches and entire trees.
Dangerous conditions led the Coast Guard to order a complete closure of the Columbia River bar Monday. Mark Dobney, civilian search and rescue controller at Coast Guard Group Astoria, said the Columbia River Bar Pilots stopped guiding vessels across the bar early Monday.
Veterans Day kept school children and many government employees home for a planned holiday Monday. The weekend was extended to a fourth day Tuesday in the Ocean Beach School District, during which power was finally restored to Ocean Park Elementary School but where many families struggled with carrying on in the absence of electricity.
Tuesday afternoon, Ocean Beach School Superintendent Rainer Houser said he doubted that Ilwaco High School would open Wednesday, due to continuing power-supply problems.
Stephanie Fritts of Pacific County Communications and Emergency Management warned that some north-end residents might be without power for as long as 48 hours. Fritts encourages Peninsula residents to utilize three- to seven-day preparedness plans and materials to bear the storm and its aftereffects.
The north-end power outage was caused by trees falling across the Peninsula's main north-south transmission line. Pacific County PUD No. 2 crews worked throughout the storm and into the night on this major problem, with an expectation that they would then begin addressing more localized problems neighborhood by neighborhood.
Residents may report their power outages directly to the PUD at the Long Beach office at 9610 Sandridge Road or by calling 642-3191. North county residents can report to the Raymond location at 405 Duryea Street or by calling 360-942-2411. Trees blocking roadways and downed or hazardous power lines should be reported by calling 911. To obtain current road conditions, call 511.
The local Rodeway Inn and Suites in Long Beach offers a "stormwatch" special rate for local residents who are displaced from their home because of power outages, etc. For just $40, four adults can stay in a room, and for an additional $7, you can bring your pet. You should also check with other local motels and hotels who may offer similar specials during these special events.
The storm system generated waves as high as 27 feet Monday morning. Seas were expected to peak at 30 feet, then subside. The storm coincided with maximum tide, around 1 p.m., that caused some minor flooding owing to tidal overflow.
A warning was issued for high surf, which can cause deadly rip currents and toss logs and debris on shore. This wasn't enough to discourage one surf-bather on the Peninsula, whose suspected hypothermia brought an aid call Monday afternoon. A small craft advisory remained in effect Tuesday due to hazardous ocean conditions.
A rain storm is expected to bring heavy precipitation to the area starting Wednesday night and into the weekend, according to the National Weather Service. Winds gusts of up to 29 mph are predicted, a mere walk in the park compared to Monday.