Chalice Dew-Johnson was awarded the Sheriff’s Commendation Certificate by Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo for her exceptional contribution to the Sheriff’s Office where she was faced with four nearly back-to-back declared emergencies during which time the Deputy Director position was vacant.
Ms. Dew-Johnson is starting her 8th year with Whatcom County Emergency Management and is well known throughout Whatcom County in the public, private, and volunteer sectors for her hard work and dedication to the field of Emergency Management. Chalice’s work is helping Whatcom Unified achieve its mission, thus ensuring that the citizens of Whatcom County are better prepared.
The Sheriff’s Commendation Certificate is awarded by the sheriff to members for exceptional contribution to the Sheriff’s Office or who perform their duties in an unusually effective manner.
Bellingham’s severe weather shelters are open and guests are welcome to come in out of the cold for overnight shelter. The shelters are run by Interfaith Coalition in partnership with the Lighthouse Mission. The Men’s Shelter is located at the Lighthouse Mission Drop-In Center at 1013 W. Holly Street. This week, the Women and Children’s shelter will again be located in the Lighthouse Mission chapel, 910 W. Holly Street. A hot meal is provided at 4:30 at the Drop-In Center, with the shelter opening at 5:30. On holidays and weekends CAST will provide soup and sandwiches at the shelter location. The shelters are anticipated to be open through Saturday night if the cold weather continues.
Interfaith Coalition is monitoring the weather to see how long the shelters will need to remain open. For more information and updates of shelter status, contact the shelter hotline at (360) 788-7983.
Area Impacted By Victoria Earthquake
People all over the region felt the 4.8 earthquake that struck near Sidney Island on December 29, 2015 at 11:39 PM. We are, of course, fortunate that it was not a larger quake, and it really did serve as a great reminder that we do live in earthquake country. Many people were awakened, felt the shaking and found their pets knew what was going on.
While there were no reports of any injuries, damage or a tsunami, it does serve to remind us that had it been just the magnitude of the Nisqually earthquake a few years ago the impact could have been quite a bit different given the location of the earthquake was so close to our community.
The earthquake itself occurred in British Columbia (although practically speaking on the US/Canadian border in Haro Strait) and it also reminds us that we sit on an international border and that the impacts of almost any earthquake that happens here in Whatcom County will also affect our friends to the north, as well as our adjoining counties (Skagit, San Juan and Island). This is why it is so important that each and everyone of us is prepared for any event, at any time.
If you, your friends, family or neighborhood would like to learn about being prepared or getting trained, you should visit our Training and Preparedness section of this website by clicking here. Remember, we can all be thankful that the Victoria earthquake was only a reminder of what will happen here when we least expect it.
Winter Storm Information- Press Message #1
A Flood Warning is in effect for Whatcom County. Recent high winds and ongoing heavy rains have increased the likelihood of lowland flooding, Nooksack river flooding, landslides, and debris on roadways. Current information indicates that flooding will be slightly less that experienced last month.
Through tonight and tomorrow morning you are asked to be extra vigilant about rising flood waters and blocked or damaged roads. As always, please observe road closures and call 911 if you observe landslides or other emergencies. Whatcom County Public Works and the Division of Emergency Management are monitoring the weather event and will provide updates if conditions worsen.
November Flood Event 2015
Press Release #3
A flood watch for Whatcom County remains in effect. Several roads are being monitored for closure due to high levels of flood water. Continued flooding is anticipated through the night with additional road closures expected by morning. Commuters should plan for additional time for detour routes.
Below is a list of current roads being monitored:
Ferndale Road North of Marine Drive
Harksell Road – East End
Innis Creek Road
Marine Drive between Rural Road and Lummi Shore
Mosquito Lake Road at Hwy 9
Slater Road between Labounty and Ferndale/Imhof
For a current list of road closures and restrictions please see the Whatcom County Public Works website:
A flood watch remains in effect for Whatcom County. Recent and ongoing heavy rains may increase the likelihood of flooding along the Nooksack River and lowland areas. Whatcom County Public Works has a limited supply of sand and sandbags for flood response. If you live in an area that experiences frequent flooding and need additional resources you can call Whatcom County Public Works, Maintenance and Operations at (360) 778-6400, choose option 2.
A flood watch remains in effect for Whatcom County. Recent and ongoing heavy rains may increase the likelihood of landslides and debris flows in the steep slope foothills and along the shoreline areas. If you are in these areas of the county you are encouraged to be watchful and extra vigilant for the potential of moderate to major slides. As always, if you observe a landslide emergency please call 911.
Save the date, on November 12 at 6:30 pm at the Lincoln Theatre, Mount Vernon, WA, speakers from WA Department of Natural Resources, Pacific Northwest Seismic Network-UW, and Western Washington University will present on Earthquake Hazards of Skagit and Whatcom Counties. Admission is free and open to the public.
Due to the Goodell Fire near Newhalem, Washington, State Route 20 remains closed, both eastbound and westbound, between Thornton Creek Road (milepost 118) and State Route 153 (milepost 204). No detour is available. This is the latest update posted by the Washington State Department of Transportation on 08/20/2015 at 11:05 AM on their Traffic Alerts website.
(Whatcom County, WASH)
The Stewart Mountain fire is being reported by DNR as under control and in mop-up status. Fire is now 50% contained as per DNR media contact. Causes of the fire remain under investigation.
Stay clear of areas burning for safety reasons, and to provide room on the road for fire fighters to respond. Air quality has improved but, those with breathing conditions should be aware of the smoky conditions that could cause irritation. Burn bans are still active in Whatcom County.
The State of Washington is working to extend the Governor’s Proclamation that implements a statewide burn ban and will continue to will make National Guard assets available to support wildfire response.
To check update information, go to https://twitter.com/WUEmergencyMgmt . Also, visit our website and Facebook site as we post updates of response efforts https://www.whatcomready.org facebook.com/pages/Whatcom-Unified-Emergency-Management