Some minor flooding hit the marina district in Westport on Sunday caused by high tides bolstered by a weekend storm.
Several businesses and structures along Westhaven Drive, the main thoroughfare through the popular marina district, experienced what Westport Public Works Director Kevin Goodrich called “minor water intrusion” as high tides reached approximately 11 feet and were supported by the storm surge.
“There was water flapping at the doors of many buildings and businesses down in the marina district,” Goodrich said. “Some businesses got sandbags in advance and were OK. Some businesses did get water inside their buildings.”
No major damage had yet been reported as of Monday morning, according to Goodrich.
“Other than water intrusions, I haven’t heard of any physical or structural damage, but it’s still early,” he said, adding that the direction of the deluge was atypical from what he usually sees from winter storms that bring some minor flooding.
“We saw a lot of water coming in from what would be the west side of the marina district over Half Moon Bay,” he said. “So we had some businesses and some structures get water on that side, which is unusual.”
A 20-foot swell on Sunday easily breached the seawall and caused brief flooding along Westhaven Drive.
The Vacations by the Sea office got a few inches of water inside, according to Brook Priest. But Aloha Alabama and Bennett’s Seafood Shack, both on Westhaven Drive, stayed dry.
“Most businesses in Westport keep some sandbags on hand and know where water intrusion might happen,” said Ron Lambert, operations manager of Bennett’s Coastal Restaurants.
Lambert also noted that potential damage was mitigated by the work done about 10 years ago on Westport’s sidewalks and streets, which added chutes and other elements to draw water away from the buildings and into the marina.
As a result, the street flooding was “very short-lived,” he said.
Goodrich said the city has made sandbags available at city hall for local residents and business owners to secure their structures ahead of another storm expected to bring high tides, strong winds, rain and possible thunderstorms to the area beginning Monday.
“We are now on high-alert, making more sandbags available from the city for people to come and fill up and put around their structures,” Goodrich said, adding sandbags can be filled at the city park located on Washington Street. “We’re looking at another fairly high-tide (Monday) around 1 p.m. … What is really concerning is (Tuesday) afternoon there is a high tide and swell and surf projections are up again.”
Early Monday morning, the National Weather Service issued a high wind warning starting at 7 a.m. Tuesday and continuing through the day. It’s supposed to hit coastal communities hardest, with gusts of up to 60 mph possible north of Grays Harbor and 70 mph at some beaches in Pacific County.
The warning continues through 4 in the afternoon Tuesday.
Steady southerly winds from 30 to 40 mph are predicted for Ocean Shores, Copalis and Pacific Beach as well as La Push along the north and central coast.
For Pacific County, Weather Service in Portland predicted south winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 60. Beaches and headland areas of Pacific County could see gusts to 70.
A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Headland areas and beaches are vulnerable to very strong wind gusts that may pose a safety hazard for individuals. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage. Trees may fall across roadways with little warning. Power outages are possible.
The Weather Service says the wind likely will blow down trees and power lines and make travel difficult for vehicles that have a tall profile.
A message from Grays Harbor Emergency Management officials reminds people remain in the lower levels of
their home during the windstorm, and avoid windows.
The Daily World Lifestyle Editor Kat Bryant contributed to this report.