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New Oregon Coast Warnings: Stay off Beaches for Entire Weekend

Published 01/19/2018 at 4:15 AM PDT - Updated 01/19/2018 at 4:35 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

New Oregon Coast Warnings: Stay off Beaches for Weekend

(Oregon Coast) – Thursday's storm surges and tidal damage were likely historic, and it's not quite over with yet. More surf warnings have been issued.

Some areas of the Oregon coast experienced waves 50 to 60 feet high marauding up the beaches, and it's quite possible this was the worst tidal surge storm on record for the region in terms of harm to humans. One person is dead and at least two were injured and sent to the hospital. (Above: damage to Kyllo's Restaurant in Lincoln City, courtesy North Lincoln Fire and Rescue).

For a roundup of surf damage and incidents, see the companion article.

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The other big headline coming out of Thursday's tidal melee is the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued more warnings about staying off the beaches, with Lincoln City fire chief Jim Kusz even urging everyone stay off the beaches for the entire weekend.

A new high surf warning is in effect from Thursday night through 3 p.m. Friday, with large ocean swells still topping 23 feet overnight, but subsiding slightly to a little above 20 feet in the afternoon.

“A High Surf Advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area, producing rip currents and localized beach erosion,” the NWS said. “It can be very dangerous to venture near the coast under high surf conditions. People at times are swept off rocks and jetties and drown while observing high surf. Stay well back from the waters edge and be alert for the exceptionally high wave.”

Kusz is correct in warning people to remain off all the danger spots for the weekend. High waves will remain around 20 feet through Sunday, only subsiding a little to around 17 feet on Monday and Tuesday.


Above: Cape Kiwanda gets inundated by massive waves over the top on Thursday, courtesy Oregon State Parks.

Just as on Thursday, stay off all beaches for the weekend, as well as low-lying parking areas, such as those in the Nelscott District in Lincoln City where surf overran the streets – although these have not been officially completely closed. Many beach accesses have been closed off by Oregon Parks and Recreation, but the public is urged to stay clear of any lower parking area that hasn't been officially closed.

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Several beaches on the Oregon coast were shut down Thursday, with no word on when they will reopen. Giant waves crashing over the top of Cape Kiwanda shuttered that access.

Other areas closed because of high surf were Oceanside, Lincoln City's D River Wayside and Road's End, the South Jetty at Newport, Boiler Bay Scenic Viewpoint, and the west Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint parking area south of Yachats.

If one thing can be learned during this week's storm surges is that the public is not listening to these warnings as they should. The injuries and fatality are one prime example, but even the plethora of storm videos show people putting themselves in unwise situations. Where to stay for this - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour

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Storm surge photos below courtesy Seaside Aquarium.



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