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Gi-normous Waves for Oregon Coast This Week, Flood Warning

Published 01/16/2018 at 6:42 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Gi-normous Waves for Oregon Coast This Week, Flood Warning

(Oregon Coast) – The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has issued a flood warning for the upper half of the Oregon coast, and some warnings about even being on the beaches as wave height will be 27 to 32 feet. The warning is in effect from Wednesday night to midnight on Thursday, with the highest tides on the northern third of the coastline. (Above: flooding in Lincoln City, courtesy the Coho Inn).

“Mariners and beach-goers should be prepared for large waves along the Oregon and Washington coasts as an incoming westerly swell arrives late Wednesday night and Thursday,” the NWS said. “Similar scenarios in the past have produced large sneaker waves that have resulted in fatalities along the Pacific Northwest coast.”

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Large waves will actually stick around the bulk of the week, starting even today. Wednesday during the day will see waves around 19 feet, rising to 22 or more later at night. By Thursday, wave height will be up around 30 feet or more in some areas of the Oregon coast.

The NWS said high tide is forecast to be 8.5 to 9.5 feet between 12 to 2 a.m. Thursday and 9.5 to 10.5 feet between 12 to 2 p.m. Thursday. The highest tidal values will be found north.

Luckily, river flows are still rather low at this time, which may assist in keeping flooding down.

“Higher than normal tides and large seas will likely result in beach erosion and some flooding of low lying locations along the coast, including areas around Willapa Bay, Seaside, Nehalem, Tillamook and Florence, particularly during the high tide midday Thursday,” the NWS said. “Sneaker waves will occasionally run much farther up beaches and onto jetties, which can easily catch unsuspecting beachgoers off-guard.”

This means stay off all beaches during this and keep a good distance from any jetties. Some larger beaches may be acceptable, like those at Seaside, northern Cannon Beach or Newport's Agate Beach. Keep clear of any smaller beaches like at Gleneden Beach, the pocket beaches south of Yachats, the Waldport area, Oceanside, Pacific City, all of Lincoln City and any part of Newport south of Agate Beach. These areas are guaranteed to have potentially deadly sneaker waves if not raging tides on a continual basis.

The safest spots to watch this will also provide the best show: from vantage points above rocky shelf areas like the parking lots at Oceanside and Pacific City, the seawall at Depoe Bay, and the higher edges of Yachats' 804 Trail or the parking lot above Yachats' main beach access behind downtown.

From Friday through Sunday, huge waves will still be marauding along the Oregon coast, clocking in at around 24 feet then lessening closer to 20 feet over the weekend. Where to stay for this event - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour ------ See full Oregon Coast Weather

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