More unexploded ordnance has been found on the beach in Grays Harbor County. And Monday night, it meant some big booms heard from the North Beach all the way to Westport.
Chief Criminal Deputy Kevin Schrader with the Sheriff’s Office said that old bullets, likely from the World War II era, again were washing up around Pacific Beach. Ordnance was found on the beach and exploded about a year ago. Schrader said Tuesday that more than 10 rounds were found and that law enforcement would continue to comb the beach for others.
Law enforcement officials cordoned off areas where the ammunition was found. An explosive ordnance disposal team came down from Joint Base Lewis-McChord to dispose of the munitions, Schrader said.
Gary Dangerfield, a public information officer from the base, confirmed that a JBLM team did detonate multiple munitions Monday night, and that the operation has wrapped up.
One particularly loud boom was heard — and felt — for miles Monday night around 9 p.m., causing social media sites to “explode” with comments from locals who felt it or heard it.
According to the local Facebook posts, the exposion could be heard and felt from Humptulips to Westport. Many posters reported windows shaking throughout the North Beach area.
About this time last year, a similar thing happened. Explosions could be heard Feb. 24 around North Beach after unspent anti-aircraft rounds used in military exercises dating back decades were found.
“These military rounds are believed to be from the 1940s, which makes their stability unknown. These rounds can explode upon impact,” Brad Johansson, of the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office, said last year. “These rounds are described as being 6 to 8 inches in length and 20 milimeters in diameter. They have the resemblance of large rifle ammunition. Many of these rounds have been located encased in a black rock or sludge matter. These rounds should be considered dangerous.”
Again this year, the Sheriff’s Office is warning the public, “don’t touch, don’t move, don’t transport” any similar device if found. If you see one of these rounds, the Sheriff’s Office says, leave it in place, mark its location and call Grays Harbor County Dispatch at 360-533-8765.