Grays Harbor endures windy winter weather with elan

The storm didn’t hit the county as hard as expected.

A storm bringing high winds and heavy rain blew through Grays Harbor County without much ill effect, say officials.

“This one had super saturated soil and high winds. That was the main concern of the National Weather Service. It had been bucketing down for a couple of days and it started blowing,’ said Ian Cope, community and government relations director of Grays Harbor Public Utility District. “It was a fast mover.”

The storm hit hard around 3 p.m. Tuesday, and had mostly blown itself out by 9 p.m., Cope said, with all outages being sorted out before midnight. Outages Tuesday affected between 1,900 and 2,000 customers spread across four main spots, Cope said. The largest outage was the road between Elma and McCleary, affecting around 1,400 customers, Cope said.

[County deals with harsh weather, multiple fires over Christmas]

“We haven’t had a whole lot reported to us for damages,” said Nick Falley, program manager for Grays Harbor Emergency Management. “Right now, the counties around us got hit pretty badly.”

Downtown Aberdeen and elsewhere saw some streets covered in water, Falley said, but the direst expectations didn’t materialize.

“As far as beach erosion is concerned, we patrolled this morning and everything looked good,” said Mayor Jon Martin of Ocean Shores. “We were worried. This is our first big windstorm, and, knock on wood, because the winter isn’t over.”

Some work done on ditches and the drainage system paid dividends, Martin said, as the city didn’t experience the flooding they expected from the combination of the heavy rain and a king tide that hammered other communities in the region, such as Olympia.

“We actually did really well. We lost some pavement out by Damon Point,” Martin said. “That’s been eroding for a while.”

New Year’s Eve Weekend

The rest of the week leading into the new year is expected to see more rain, but much less severe conditions, Cope said.

“Looks like it’s going to be pretty much what you expect for late December, early January,” Cope said. “It looks like we should end 2022 on a fairly (uneventful) run here.”

Rivers are still running high in the county, Falley said.

“There’s another system later tomorrow into Friday. The Chehalis River is supposed to crest tomorrow afternoon at some point,” Falley said. “It’s not quite going to hit the flood stage.”

Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or

Michael S. Lockett / The Daily World 
Waves smash into the jetty in Ocean Shores during a winter storm on Dec. 27.

Michael S. Lockett / The Daily World Waves smash into the jetty in Ocean Shores during a winter storm on Dec. 27.