The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

PacifiCorps Exercise Today

Cowlitz County DEM, and several other agencies in Southwest Washington, are participating in a functional exercise with PacifiCorp (operator of Lewis River dams) this morning.  This exercise will involve an emergency on the Lewis River.  If you hear something on the radio, or through some other method, of an emergency on the Lewis River or involving the dams, please disregard.  The exercise will be ending at noon.   Thank you!

West Longview Armed Robbery Suspect Located

The suspect in the West Longview armed robbery has been located.  There is no longer a danger to residents in that area.  An Emergency Community Notification System reverse calling message has been issued to residents within one mile of that location.  Please check your news media outlets for additional information as it becomes available.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Armed Robbery West Longview

Law enforcement officers are investigating an armed robbery in West Longview.  The suspect fired shots at police when they stopped his car at the intersection of Coal Creek and Pacific Way.  The male suspect fled on foot and is believed to still be in the area.  Suspect is considered armed and dangerous.  Residents in the area of Coal Creek and Pacific are asked to stay indoors and lock their doors.  Report any suspicious activity to 9-1-1 immediately.

Friday, October 22, 2010

One, two, three -- Punch!

The following is summarized from the National Weather Service Special Weather Statements.   
The high pressure that has provided the area with mostly sunny skies will give way to a series of storm systems to affect Washington and Oregon this weekend.

The first system went through our area last night.  What?  You missed it.   Well, it was a weak system providing a typical Autumn rain.    Consider it as priming the pumps.

The second system will come through tonight and into Saturday morning. It will bring clouds and showers to the area and approximately 1/2" of rain in the valley.

The third system on the way for Saturday night and Sunday (pictured above) will be markedly more intense.    This system will bring high seas, high winds and dangerous surf conditions to the coast.    The mountains will have snow down to pass level, mainly between 4,000 and 5,000 feet.    For the valley, 1-2" of rain is expected Saturday night through Monday, gusty winds 30-40 mph and exasperated conditions due to tree leaves, clogged drains, etc. 

The message for this weekend is to be prepared for power outages, windy conditions and the potential for surface flooding from clogged drains.    Now would be the time to clean out gutters, put together a preparedness kit, and talk with family members about emergency plans.   Visit Cowlitz County DEM's Preparedness Page for more valuable information.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wet and Windy Conditions by the Weekend

Information from the National Weather Service:

The upper ridge which has given the Pacific northwest sunny and warm Fall weather will shift east Thursday and Thursday night.  This will allow an increasingly strong westerly jet stream to impact the northwest over the weekend.

The first storm is expected to impact the coast Thursday night and Friday with a glancing blow to northwest Oregon. Rain and wind will be mostly along the north coast.

A second storm system is anticipated around Saturday morning. This system will bring increasing rain ahead of a warm front as a weakening surface low sweeps in from the southwest.

Computer models show a strong low pressure system developing in the Gulf of Alaska on Saturday... fueled by moisture of tropical origin. A very strong westerly jet stream associated with this low is currently expe cted to push a strong frontal system into western Oregon and southwest Washington Saturday night. There is a potential for heavy rain and strong winds with this system... especially along the Oregon and Washington coast.

Snow levels will remain above pass levels through Saturday with snow falling on the higher Cascade peaks. The snow level should lower Sunday and Monday with significant snow expected in the Cascades down to near pass levels.

People planning outdoor activities... especially in the mountains and along the coast should be ready for deteriorating weather conditions... heavy rain... strong gusty winds... cooler weather and snow at the higher elevations. These conditions are expected to last into next week.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What Will This Winter Be Like?

The Oregon Chapter American Meteorological Society met in Portland to discuss the upcoming winter with local and regional experts. A standing room only crowd of 350 people were in attendance.  The end result of this abundance of weather expertise is the Forecast Synopsis, which we have shared below:

Forecast Synopsis

“With a moderate to strong La Nina well underway, the majority of experts at today’s annual forecast meeting predict a wetter and cooler than normal winter overall for Oregon. Snow pack in the Cascades is likely to be at or above normal this winter. In some analog (similar) years in the past, the Cascades have experienced near record snow amounts. George Taylor, Applied Climate Services Climatologist, LLC, Corvallis, Oregon, says, “wet, wild and windy weather is in store for the coming winter.” Pete Parsons, Oregon Department of Forestry Meteorologist, Salem, Oregon says, “this winter is likely to be markedly different from last year. Parsons went on to say, “I would be surprised if we made it through this winter without seeing at least one arctic air mass and low elevation snow event.” Tyree Wilde, NOAA-National Weather Service WC Meteorologist, Portland says, “wet, wet, wet this winter.” Forecasters also noted that it has been 15 years since the last major windstorm to strike Oregon on December 12th 1995, which was also a La Nina winter that featured a record setting flood, arctic air and snow.

So, there you have it, looks like umbrellas, tire chains and preparedness kits are top priority for the Christmas list.   I'm sure the kids will understand!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Freezing Weather Expected

The National Weather Service is warning of temperatures in the low to mid 30s tonight. This could be the first frost of the fall season. Take steps to protect your plants from freezing temperatures. Keep an eye on current weather forecasts for additional information.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What Doesn't Your Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Your homeowners insurance doesn't cover floods, but Federal flood insurance does. Floods can happen anytime, anywhere. They cause anguish and destruction--physical, emotional and financial. Especially when victims realize the damage isn't covered by their homeowners insurance policy. Federal disaster assistance isn't necessarily the answer either. In most cases, the only aid disaster victims may qualify for is a loan that must be repaid with interest. Only Federal flood insurance reimburses you for flood damage to your property. With one annual premium, you can protect your most important investment--your home and your finances. Call your insurance agent or company today and ask about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). There's no better way to save for a rainy day.... For more information about the NFIP, call 1-800-427-4661 or contact your local insurance agent.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fire Prevention Week Open House

Come join us in Lexington for Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue's Fire Prevention Week Open House. The event will be held on Saturday, October 9th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue Lexington Station, 1796 Westside Hwy, Kelso. This FREE event includes interactive safety booths, games, giveaways, prizes, free blood pressure checks and much, much more! Stop by to enjoy a free hot dog, courtesy of Foster Farms, get coupons for free ice cream from Kelso McDonald's and lots of other goodies. See you there!