CRESA Always Here, Always Ready

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Approaching Storms – What You Need to Know

We are expecting the arrival of a one, two punch with two  storms bringing heavy winds and heavy rain.  The first storm is expected to hit Thursday and the second storm to hit Saturday.

Check back here for the latest updates.

**A Message from area Public Works**

High Winds and Heavy rain expected  –  The National Weather Service expects up to 4 inches of precipitation in the next five days.   Below are some items to consider:

  • Most of flooding we may see will be because of leaves clogging storm drains, not because of waterways surging over their banks.
  • Please DO NOT rake, sweep or blow your leaves onto roadways where they can clog storm drains, causing flooding and create driving hazards.
  • Clark County and and the City of Vancouver  offer coupons for free leaf disposal.  These are available on both agencies websites.
  • If you see an urgent problem, call 911.  If you see an issue that does not pose an imminent threat to public safety, call Clark County Public Works for incidents outside the City of Vancouver and other city limits.  (Those numbers are listed below.)
  • Clark County does have sand and sandbags available for emergency situations.  Please see locations below based on your location.
  • Report down trees by calling 360-397-2446.  Crews can use chain saws to cut up trees and limbs and clear obstructions.
  • The one exception is where power is involved.  Clark Public Utilities needs to respond to those incidents.

Current Weather Information

We rely on the National Weather Service to provide us with the most up to date forecasts and detailed weather information.  This information will be updated as weather changes.

National Weather Service Forecasting Office

Current Forecast for the Region 

General Flood Warning & Precautions

  • Turn around don’t drown! Just 12 inches of rushing water isdownload enough to wash away a small car.  NWS Turn Around Don’t Drown
  • Clear street drains in your neighborhood throughout the storm.  Cleaning them just once may not be enough as the rain may wash more leaves onto the drain. Clark County Residents should not try to clear storm drains on busy streets. Call Clark County Public Works at (360) 397-2446 to report clogged storm drains or flooding outside of city limits. 
  • Keep gutters clean, watch for drainage issues around your home
  • Tips from Clark County Public Works Before, During, and After A Flood

Sandbag Information

  • DO NOT call 9-1-1 to request sandbags or inquire about public sandbag locations
  • Most large hardware and home improvement stores carry material needed for sandbags
  • Some area Public Works agencies may provide public sandbag assembly areas:
  • Sandbags are available from Clark County Public Works (2 locations)
    • 78th St Operation Center 4700 N.E. 78th St.
    • 149th Street Operations Center 11608 NE 149th St.
    • Sandbag assembly required, remember to bring your own shovel
    • Do not reuse sandbags from previous flood
  • Sandbags are available to residents of the City Of Vancouver (2 locations)
    • In front of fence near the sign at the former Golden Skate site, 4915 E Fourth Plain Blvd
    • Near the driveway access at Vancouver Public Works’ East Operations site, 912 NE 192 Ave
    • For More information from Vancouver Public Works click here.
  • Sandbags are available for residents of Battle Ground (Self-serve)
    • Flex Use Building, 1308 SE Grace Ave
  • Sandbags are available to residents of Camas   (2 locations)
    • Operations Center 1620 SE 8th Ave
    • 4010 NW Astor Street near NW 38th Ave.
    • For More information on Sandbags in Camas click here.
  • Sandbags are available to residents of Ridgefield
    • Abrams Park  End of Division off of N 5th Ave.

    Sandbags are available to residents of Washougal  (3 locations)

    • 2300 block of North L Street
    • Silver Star Search & Rescue 13th & A Street
    • Public Works Operations 2201 C Street

Road Status: Closed or Restricted Roads

Information about flooded, impassable, or restricted roads will be posted here as information becomes available:

There are no current closures

Information Telephone Numbers & Links

PulsePoint Down in Clark County for System Maintenance

download-10Early Tuesday, October 11th, the PulsePoint App will be down in Clark County for system maintenance.

This maintenance will not affect individuals needing to call 9-1-1.   “It doesn’t change business as normal for the public,” said Katy Myers,  Technical Services Manager, “to the public, calling will not be effected.”

CRESA will be making notification of PulsePoint availability when all systems are back online and made available.  

Clark County Rain and Flooding Information

Heavy rain expected Tuesday through Saturday.  Check back here for the latest updates.

Last update: 11/18/15 1:30 PM

UPDATE:  CLARK COUNTY Flood Watch has been Cancelled…  For more information regarding this  Cancelled Flood Watch click here.

**A Message from Clark County Public Works**

With the expected arrival of another storm carrying heavy rain, and a Flood Watch for the County Wednesday evening, here are some items we want to share:

  • Most of the Flooding we have seen so far is because of leaves clogging storm drains, not because of waterways surging over their banks.
  • Please DO NOT rake, sweep or blow your leaves onto roadways where they can clog storm drains, causing flooding and create driving hazards.
  • Clark County and and the City of Vancouver  offer coupons for free leaf disposal.  These are available on both agencies websites.
  • If you see an urgent problem, call 911.  If you see an issue that does not pose an imminent threat to public safety, call Clark County Public Works for incidents outside the City of Vancouver and other city limits.  (Those numbers are listed below.)
  • Clark County does have sand and sandbags available for emergency situations.  Please call their 78th St Operations Center for more details.  (Info is below.)
  • Report down trees by calling 360-397-2446.  Crews can use chain saws to cut up trees and limbs and clear obstructions.
  • The one exception is where power is involved.  Clark Public Utilities needs to respond to those incidents.

Current Weather Information

We rely on the National Weather Service to provide us with the most up to date forecasts and detailed weather information.  This information will be updated as weather changes.

National Weather Service Forecasting Office

Current Forecast for the Region 

 

 

General Flood Warning & Precautions

  • Turn around don’t drown! Just 12 inches of rushing water isdownload enough to wash away a small car.  NWS Turn Around Don’t Drown
  • Clear street drains in your neighborhood throughout the storm.  Cleaning them just once may not be enough as the rain may wash more leaves onto the drain. Clark County Residents should not try to clear storm drains on busy streets. Call Clark County Public Works at (360) 397-2446 to report clogged storm drains or flooding outside of city limits. 
  • Keep gutters clean, watch for drainage issues around your home
  • Tips from Clark County Public Works Before, During, and After A Flood

Sandbag Information

  • DO NOT call 9-1-1 to request sandbags or inquire about public sandbag locations
  • Most large hardware and home improvement stores carry material needed for sandbags
  • Some area Public Works agencies may provide public sandbag assembly areas
    • Call Clark County Public Works  78th St Operation Center (4700 N.E. 78th st.) regarding possible sandbags and sand.  360-397-2446
    • Sandbag assembly required, remember to bring your own shovel
    • Do not reuse sandbags from previous flood
  • Sandbags are available to residents of Camas in 2 locations,
    • Operations Center 1620 SE 8th Ave
    • 4010 NW Astor Street near NW 38th Ave.
    • For More information on Sandbags in Camas click here.

Road Status: Closed or Restricted Roads

Information about flooded, impassable, or restricted roads will be posted here as information becomes available:

There are no current closures

Information Telephone Numbers & Links

Are you ready to evacuate in an emergency?

Have you registered your cell phone with your Clark County address?

Today, CRESA prepared and sent an emergency message to some Washougal residents on behalf of the Washougal Police due to an urgent potential life-threatening police and fire emergency. The residents were told to “evacuate immediately” away from this area. Anyone that could not safely evacuate was told to secure their home, stay low and away from the windows. Would you know what to do if you got this message? Here are some tips.

  1. Register your wireless phone with your address so that we can keep you informed (see CRESA Alerts below).
  2. Always keep paper and pen by your phone to accurately record the instructions.
  3. Although it may be cute, never let small children answer the phone.
  4. Be prepared to evacuate and leave your home immediately, if instructed.
  5. Keep an emergency kit in your car, including food, water and blankets.
  6. Keep your important medication ready to evacuate with you.
  7. Inform your family members after you have been evacuated of your current location and situation.
  8. Follow the instructions of first responders on how to keep informed of the situation.

CRESA Alerts. Could we notify you of an emergency in your neighborhood on your cell or VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone? Register your cell phone or non-traditional land line phone numbers with your home or business address today. If you have a traditional land-line phone there is no need to register.

Flood Warning continues on Columbia River @ Vancouver

The National Weather Service (NWS) Portland reports that the Flood Warning is continuing on the Columbia River at Vancouver. As of Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 2 pm, the river is at 16.5 feet (16 feet is Flood Stage). Minor flooding is expected to continue through Saturday, forecasting to be between 16.3 and 16.6 feet.

The good news is that the river is expected to drop below flood stage later Saturday night (June 18) or Sunday (June 19). You can see the latest river stages and forecasts @ www.weather.gov/portland.

Please remember that the river is high, fast, still full of dangerous debris and very cold. Review some of the other posts written on this blog within the last five weeks to get more information about the inconveniences and damage impacts that this flooding has caused.

Blizzard Warning Issued to Affect Camas/Washougal area

Blizzard warning issued for the Western Columbia River Gorge at 4:22 p.m. today. The threshold for blizzard conditions are forecasted snow plus wind gusts of 50 MPH. The National Weather Service confirmed via phone the Blizzard warning will affect the Camas and Washougal areas, especially in the hills above Camas and Washougal.

A warning mean the peril is imminent and will begin within the next few hours. A blizzard will cause dangerous driving conditions – use extreme caution in this area and take the necessary steps to mitigate and prepare for this condition.

Winter Storm Warning Issued for Saturday through Sunday evening

The NWS expects the next storm system to be stronger than either of the 2 earlier storms this week and plans to issue a WINTER STORM WARNING for Saturday afternoon through Sunday evening.

Today’s 12:30 p.m. weather briefing from the National Weather Service predicts the following impacts for Clark County:

Weather and Temperatures:

• Temperatures will be at or below freezing Friday afternoon through Monday morning.

• Snow will begin Saturday early afternoon and transition to freezing rain around 12 midnight. Snow accumulation may range from 4 – 10 inches, depending on when the transition to freezing rain occurs. Freezing rain will continue through Sunday. Significant ice accumulation up to ½ inch is expected Saturday and Sunday. Monday, the freezing rain will transition back to snow in the morning with the temperature hovering around freezing on Monday.

• The east wind will be strong in the east county areas, especially near Camas and Washougal with gusts up to 45 MPH.

A Winter Storm Warning means, “The hazard is occurring or imminent and poses a threat to life and property.”

Take the opportunity now to restock your preparedness kit and revisit your family emergency plan. Your actions in the next 24 hours will directly correspond to your safety and comfort in the days to come.

Emergency Alert System: the Present and the Future

This morning we issued an Emergency Alert System (EAS) message to warn the public about a telephone outage at our 911 center (see last blog). Some TV watchers would have seen a message scroll across the screen that said “Civil Authorities have issued a Civil Emergency Message for Clark County, Washington”. Radio listeners may have just heard the EAS data bursts and the attention tone. What everyone should have also heard was a brief voice message from Scott, our duty officer today, warning of the problems with our phone system. Unfortunately, because of a technical problem, this voice message was not included in the warning. This creates understandable confusion and we’re working to resolve the problem and make sure that the system works right the next time.

There have been a few instances over the years where EAS has had problems. This system relies on a partnership between broadcasters, cable providers, the National Weather Service, and emergency managers and on a complex web of radio and data technologies. At any point, any link in this chain can have a problem which can generate faulty alerts. To ensure its reliability, EAS is tested on a weekly basis by all broadcasters. We also do regular live tests with broadcasters to ensure that the whole system works. Still, problems occur.

The important thing to remember is that EAS has worked for us and it can save lives. For the tornado that tore through Clark County early this year, the first warning that most people got was from the EAS warning issued by the National Weather Service. Around the country EAS has been used many times to let people know about tornados, hurricanes, chemical spills, and other life-threatening emergencies. To augment EAS and to add to our warning capabilities, CRESA also has a telephone warning system and we rely on Flashnews.net, a rapid media notification service.

Starting late next year, you may start to see some improvements to EAS as we begin implementation of the Common Alerting Protocol. Without going into technical details, CAP is a simple standard for the creation and delivery of warning messages that will make it so we can accurately and quickly issue warnings via EAS, telephones, highway message boards, text devices, NOAA Weather Radio, media notification services, blogs, and other web messaging tools. Eventually, new CAP-compliant systems may completely replace the current EAS system.

In the mean time, stick with us and please be patient as we work to continuously improve our ability to warn you of emergencies. If you see warning information that doesn’t make sense, the best first step is to check your favorite radio or television news station for further information about the alert. We do our best to provide information to them quickly. Most of all, please avoid calling 911 unless you have a real emergency.

Deep Freeze Thoughts

Although not all of SW Washington turned white with snow yesterday, the weekend storm did usher in some VERY cold temperatures which are here to stay for a few days.

Take some extra time this week to check in on your neighbors and family members to ensure that they are safely weathering these extremely frigid temperatures.

Some hazards to be thinking about during this cold snap include:

    Power Outages: Make a plan now for how and where you plan to stay warm.

    Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: As you make your plan for warmth, remember carbon monoxide poisoning is considered the “silent killer” during cold snaps.

    Freezing Pipes: Remember some key things to do around your home for protection.

    Hypothermia: Watch for warning signs among your social circles. Adult warning signs include shivering/exhaustion, confusion, memory loss/slurred speech and drowsiness. Infant warning signs include bright red, cold skin and very low energy.

    Remember your animals: Keeping animals warm can also present some challenges. This site, from a bird owner’s perspective, has some creative ways to help.

What Can You Do…..

to help emergency responders in a bad weather situation???

STAY OFF THE ROADS

CRESA Emergency Management just participated in a briefing with the National Weather Service and there are a myriad of watches and warnings posted for the next few days.

When the weather gets hairy, the fewer drivers on the road, the easier life is for your emergency responders who are trying to respond as quickly as possible. So, plan ahead over the next 24 hours and prepare yourself and your family for some indoor activities.

And, if the weather forecasts all come true, please consider whether venturing out onto the roads is absolutely necessary. Your decision to stay home could be life-saving.

If you do need to be driving in the bad weather, take these precautions in the next 24 hours:

  • Fill up your gas tank
  • Carry chains inside your vehicle or have your snow tires on
  • Ensure that you are able to stay warm in your vehicle without the use of the engine
  • Travel with some food & water in your vehicle

Stay safe this weekend and out of harm’s way!

May 2017
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