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High Surf Advisories, Flooding for Oregon Coast; Washington Coast, S. Coast Issues

Published 02/07/2020 at 6:30 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

High Surf Advisories, Flooding for Oregon Coast; Washington Coast, S. Coast Issues

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(Manzanita, Oregon) – More eventful times and tides are in store for the Oregon coast and Washington coast, with both areas staring down the barrel of king tides over the weekend, but also a high surf advisory for the north Oregon coast and the entire Washington coast, while the north Oregon coast has a flood advisory on top of it. The southern Oregon coast will also have wild ocean waves but no warnings are issued on the beaches there.

Extreme caution should be exercised on all beaches this weekend because of the king tides, however, which go from Saturday through Monday. This has even caused the cancellation of a special glass float drop in Lincoln City over the weekend as part of its Antique Week celebration.

The National Weather Serivce (NWS) in Portland issued the high surf advisories for the north Oregon coast and all of the Washington coast, in effect now through 7 p.m. on Saturday. This covers the Oregon towns of Yachats, Newport, Lincoln City, Pacific City, Rockaway Beach, Manzanita and Seaside, etc, and all towns along the outer Washington coast.

Also expect some flooding, as there is a flood advisory in effect until 7 p.m. along the northern half of the Oregon coastline, with the northern third getting the worst of it. There is no flood advisory for the Washington coast, but plenty inland in that state.

“A total tide approaching 10 ft will occur at high tide,” the NWS said. “This will generate flooding of low areas near the coast. Historically, similar conditions in the past have resulted in the minor flooding of Highway 101 near Seaside, Nehalem, and/or Tillamook. Water has covered parts of Frazier Rd, Miami Foley Rd at milepost 1, as well as the intersection near Alderbrook and Possetti road.”

Along the beaches, the NWS said offshore swells and king tides will converge to create dangerous situations, worsened by long periods between swells (which cause breakers to build up into sneaker waves).

“Models are showing seas reaching 18 to 20 ft, along with seas around 20 to 23 feet in zone PZZ270,” the NWS said. “Expect a dominate period of 13 to 15 seconds. After the frontal passage on Saturday night, seas begin to ease to 13 to 15 ft, but the dominate period increasing to 16 seconds. These high energy waves may create some sneaker wave conditions so please be cautious if on beaches.”

The situation along the southern Oregon coast will be close but not as severe – from Reedsport southward to Brookings. There are no surf advisories or flood watches for that area, although offshore seas will be in the upper teens on Saturday and part of Sunday. The NWS in Medford said there are hazardous sea conditions for mariners, however, lasting quite awhile even if the beaches are not affected.

“As swells diminish Sunday, a thermal trough will form near the coast, resulting in continued north winds and steep to very steep and hazardous seas through the first half of next week,” the NWS said of the southern half of the coast.

Beach Safety Advice:

Stay off all shorter beaches such as Gleneden Beach, Newport’s Nye Beach, Oceanside or parts of Lincoln City and Pacific City – especially those with only cliff walls behind them and no quick access to the streets and foredunes.

Even larger, longer beaches could spell trouble, such as those at Bandon, Long Beach, Seaside, northern Cannon Beach, Newport’s Agate Beach or others.

Do not assume it “can’t happen to you.”

Stay off all jetties at all times. See Washington Coast Weather - Oregon Coast Weather 

Rocky areas such as Depoe Bay, Shore Acres State Park or Yachats will provide the best views for wave drama and you can stay safe by watching from afar. But going on those rocky ledges puts you in more danger than anywhere else. Stay far, far back from places like Thor’s Well.

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