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Sneaker Wave Warning for Oregon Coast Tuesday

Published 09/02/2019 at 6:43 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Sneaker Wave Warning for Oregon Coast Tuesday

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(Oregon Coast) – Throughout the entire Oregon coast – from Brookings up to Warrenton – there is a chance of deadly sneaker waves on Tuesday and into Wednesday. The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland issued a “coastal hazard message,” urging extreme caution as unusually high wave run-up is expected, and this could cause injury or even death.

While seas alone won’t be very high, it’s the period between swells that is the problem. Waves of six to eight feet are expected, which is not rough in itself, but the swell periods of 16 to 17 seconds will cause waves to pile up against each other occasionally and thus cause waves to go sprinting up the beaches.

The timing of the warning is 11 a.m. Tuesday through 9 a.m. Wednesday. The best chances for sneaker waves will be between 11 a.m. Tuesday and 11 p.m. Tuesday.

“Potential Impacts: Sneaker waves with high run-ups can knock unsuspecting people over and drag them out to sea,” the NWS said. “Shock and hypothermia can occur quickly in the cold Pacific waters. Logs and other debris can be lifted and floated by these waves, crushing or entrapping unsuspecting victims underneath.”

The NWS said you should stay off rocks, logs and jetties – and never turn your back on the ocean.

Oregon Coast Beach Connection urges you to stay out of narrow beach spots with cliff areas behind the surf. Places like these will not only leave little to no room to run should a sneaker wave arrive, but the cliffs will not allow escape. Stick to beaches with foredunes and open areas behind them, such as roads or neighborhoods.

Small beaches like these that will be extra hazardous include Gleneden Beach, parts of Lincoln City with only cliffs behind the beaches, Nye Beach at Newport, the gravelly pocket beaches in and around Yachats, and Oceanside, among others. Wider beaches such as Manzanita, Seaside, Lincoln City’s D River access and Cannon Beach will be safer but still require watching the waves closely. See tides and weather details at Oregon Coast Weather.

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