Oregon Coast Storm Warnings Expand: Flood, High Surf, Hurricane Winds Offshore
Published 03/09/2016 at 4:51 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Oregon Coast) – A new set of warnings from the National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland regarding the Oregon coast paints a darker, wetter and windier picture than before. The most recent updates indicate higher wind gusts this afternoon, up to 85 mph, while high surf advisories and coastal flood advisories are in effect through the morning hours. (Photo above: a stormy Cannon Beach today, courtesy Tolovana inn).
The NWS also added a storm warning and a hurricane winds warning for offshore waters of the Oregon coast, urging all ships to stay in port. One beach in LIncoln City has been closed due to these conditions as well.
The high wind warning remains in effect until 2 a.m. Thursday. Sustained winds could linger in the 40's and low 50's on the beaches and headlands, while gusts could get up to 85 mph. Coastal towns will see regular winds around 50 mph and gusts up to 70 mph.
A flood advisory was issued for the beach region as well, and already there is one report of a mudslide on Miami-Foley Road near Garibaldi. The flood advisory is in effect until 4 a.m., as some of the highest tides of the year combine with enormous seas hitting the shoreline.
Rivers will be rising, the NWS said, throughout the evening, and many areas that are prone to flooding will be watched carefully.
Most impressive (and dangerous) is the high surf advisory, where 30-foot seas are coming to the coastline later tonight. They will be lingering around 20 feet during the day, which makes walking on just about any beach quite dangerous. Stay back above the vegetation line or in parking lots to watch the surf.
Later on Thursday, they drop down to just below 20 feet, but Friday, Saturday and Sunday the combined seas will be still be 20 feet high or more. Oregon state parks officials have actually shut down the D River beach access in LIncoln City for a day or two.
The NWS and other agate experts say all this is likely to cause a fair amount of erosion, which should be great for agate hunting afterwards. The weekend will remain rainy and blustery with winds still in the 30's at times, but if you can handle a little atmospheric roughness this will be a good time for agate hunting and looking for whatever treasures the ocean has flung up.
For marine craft, the NWS issued a hurricane force wind warning until 11 p.m. tonight. With gusts as high as 75 knots (about 85 mph) there is considerable danger near capes and headlands.
“Seas this evening will be particularly chaotic with a dangerously steep wind wave component,” the NWS said.
You'll still be able to watch some sizable wave action through until Monday, however. Places that are both safe and have great views of storm action include Depoe Bay, the cliffs and paths above Yachat's beaches, the parking lots at Oceanside or Pacific City, Cape Meares, Yaquina Head (Newport), and the Silver Point overlooks just south of Cannon Beach. Where to stay for this event - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour
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