Heavy rains and wind pounded the region Tuesday and early Wednesday morning, causing flooding, power outages and damage across the Twin Harbors.
Hoquiam reported nearly 2 inches of rain (1.89) on Tuesday with wind speeds at 48 mph and wind gusts reaching 59 mph.
From 2 a.m. Monday to 2 a.m. Wednesday, the Seattle office of the National Weather Service reported 4.22 inches of rain for the Hoquiam-Aberdeen area, 5.94 inches near Lake Quinnault and 6.36 inches just west of the Capital State Forest.
Down in Pacific County, the Willapa Hills area was hammered with 9.63 and 7.98 inches of rain falling in Huckleberry Ridge and Abernathy Mountain, respectively, over a 48-hour period. The area was also blasted with wind gusts topping out at 78 mph as of midnight Tuesday.
The National Weather Service issued its final briefing Wednesday morning with warnings of elevated landslide threats, minor coastal flooding and river flooding across the western part of Washington.
Rivers are expected to recede on Thursday after the storm dumped nearly 10 inches of rain in some areas Wednesday.
Drier weather is expected for Thursday through the weekend, with some light rain Thursday night into Friday and on Sunday as weaker systems make their way to the Harbor.
Grays Harbor Emergency Management Services has been fielding calls and emails with reports of flooding, landslides and damage non-stop since 7 a.m. Tuesday morning.
“We’re getting all kinds of calls coming through,” GH Emergency Management Program Coordinator Nick Falley said.
Falley added his office has fielded calls ranging from significant erosion on the Ocean Shores coastline, flooding in Ocean City and in fields in East County, a landslide in Cosmopolis on Tuesday morning and tweets from Grays Harbor PUD regarding multiple power outages.
“We got calls from across the county,” he said. “From Satsop to Ocean Shores.”
Falley urges the public to take pictures of any weather-related damage and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For weather-related assistance, visit co.grays-harbor.wa.us/departments/emergency_management/index.php or call 360-249-3911.
In an emergency, dial 911.
One of the businesses most affected was the Echoes of the Sea Motel located on State Route 109 in Copalis Beach, where floodwater caused thousands of dollars in damage.
Flood water reached as high as 10 inches in some of the motel’s eight guest rooms, and its 10 RV and seven tent sites were still underwater as of noon on Wednesday.
“Conservatively, it’s going to cost $6,000 per room (for repairs),” said Scott Carroll, who bought the business with his wife Patty in August. “But the cost will be well beyond that by the time (repairs) are done.”
Until the repairs can be completed, the rooms — which were 90% booked through April — will be unavailable for a minimum of three to four weeks as drywall, insulation and flooring have to be removed and replaced.
The floodwaters had yet to recede at the RV spaces and tent sites on Wednesday, meaning Scott was unsure if further repairs would be needed and — if so — the cost to other aspects of the business.
The Carrolls, who have been married for 31 years, moved back to their home state of Washington from Vallejo, California, in 2020 to be closer to family after Scott battled bladder and prostate cancer for three years.
The location was perfect for the Carrolls, who have been making improvements to the guest rooms and other aspects of the motel in their six months of ownership.
“After the battle I had with cancer, you kind of look at life a little differently,” Scott explained. “You identify what’s important in life. Between surviving cancer and racial riots and the coronavirus and everything we were exposed to down in California, coupled with the fact that our kids, grandkids and aging parents live in Washington state; we just felt like it was time to get back into the area.”
“We decided we needed to find a business and set a parameter of being within three hours of friends and family and this met the criteria of what we were able to afford. It was something we felt had a lot of potential and that we would enjoy doing as well.”
Though relative newcomers to the area, the Carrolls said the outpouring of support they’ve already received from the community has helped to deal with another of life’s major hurdles.
“Right away, we felt this was a very friendly and welcoming community, but what we have just seen in the hours after the flood, it really exceeds our expectations,” Scott said. “They are letting us know how badly they feel for us and recognize that we have made a lot of improvements to the property in the last five months and are sad to see it going. And we’ve got a lot of people that have already made donations to our gofundme and also have a lot of people that are just offering to help. They come over and help with the cleaning and the demolition. It’s just a very kind, generous and supportive community.”
To donate to the business’ gofundme account, visit gofundme.com/f/echoes-of-the-sea-flood-repairs?utm_medium=email&utm_source=product&utm_campaign=p_email%2B2300-co-team-welcome.