Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Special Weather Statement: December 29, 2010

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
400 PM PST WED DEC 29 2010

THE AIR MASS OVER NORTHWEST OREGON AND SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON IS
COOL AND UNSTABLE THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING DUE TO THE RECENT
PASSAGE OF A COLD FRONT. THIS PATTERN CAN PRODUCE WHAT IS CALLED
COLD AIR FUNNEL CLOUDS. THESE FUNNELS DO NOT USUALLY TOUCH THE
GROUND. HOWEVER...IF THEY DO TOUCH THE GROUND THEY ARE DANGEROUS
AND CAN BE DAMAGING. HAD A THIRD PARTY REPORT OF WHAT APPEARS TO BE
ONE OF THESE NEAR TANGENT OREGON THIS AFTERNOON. IN THE LAST
HOUR...SOME THUNDERSTORMS HAVE BEGUN TO DEVELOP OVER PORTIONS OF
THE AREA. THE POTENTIAL FOR THIS EVENT SHOULD DECREASE AFTER SUNSET.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Special Weather Statement for Columbia County: Dec. 27, 2010

Special Weather Statement

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
1200 PM PST MON DEC 27 2010

ORZ003>014-WAZ019-020-022-023-039-040-281800-
COAST RANGE OF NORTHWEST OREGON-
CENTRAL COAST RANGE OF WESTERN OREGON-LOWER COLUMBIA-
GREATER PORTLAND METRO AREA-CENTRAL WILLAMETTE VALLEY-
SOUTH WILLAMETTE VALLEY-WESTERN COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE-
NORTHERN OREGON CASCADE FOOTHILLS-NORTHERN OREGON CASCADES-
CASCADE FOOTHILLS IN LANE COUNTY-CASCADES IN LANE COUNTY-
UPPER HOOD RIVER VALLEY-SOUTH WASHINGTON CASCADES-WILLAPA HILLS-I-
5 CORRIDOR IN COWLITZ COUNTY-GREATER VANCOUVER AREA-
SOUTH WASHINGTON CASCADE FOOTHILLS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...VERNONIA...JEWELL...TRASK...
GRANDE RONDE...TIDEWATER...SWISSHOME...ST. HELENS...CLATSKANIE...
HILLSBORO...PORTLAND...OREGON CITY...GRESHAM...SALEM...
MCMINNVILLE...DALLAS...EUGENE...CORVALLIS...ALBANY...HOOD RIVER...
CASCADE LOCKS...MULTNOMAH FALLS...SANDY...
SILVER FALLS STATE PARK...SWEET HOME...GOVERNMENT CAMP...
DETROIT...SANTIAM PASS...VIDA...LOWELL...COTTAGE GROVE...
MCKENZIE BRIDGE...OAKRIDGE...WILLAMETTE PASS...PARKDALE...ODELL...
COLDWATER RIDGE VISITORS CENTER...MOUNT ST. HELENS...FRANCES...
RYDERWOOD...LONGVIEW...KELSO...CASTLE ROCK...STEVENSON...
SKAMANIA...VANCOUVER...BATTLE GROUND...WASHOUGAL...TOUTLE...
ARIEL...COUGAR
1200 PM PST MON DEC 27 2010

...TURNING COLDER BY MIDWEEK...AND COLD TO END THE YEAR...

AFTER A MILD START TO THE LAST WEEK OF THE YEAR...A COLD FRONT
WILL PUSH ACROSS THE REGION TUESDAY NIGHT...USERING IN MUCH COLDER
WEATHER. IN THE LOWLANDS...OVERNIGHT LOWS EXPECTED IN THE MIDDLE
TO UPPER 20S...WHILE THE AFTERNOON HIGH TEMPERATURES WILL LIKELY
BE ONLY IN THE 30S. TEMPERATURES WILL BE COLDER IN THE CASCADES.

THIS IS NOT AN ARTIC OUTBREAK OF AIR...AND NOT A LOT OF EAST WIND
IS EXPECTED. HOWEVER...IT WILL BE COLD ENOUGH TO SEE SNOW
SHOWERS WEDNESDAY INTO THURSDAY. AT THIS TIME...SNOW ACCUMULATIONS
ARE EXPECTED TO BE LIGHT...THROUGH AN INCH OR TWO ARE POSSIBLE
ABOVE 500 FEET...OR ON HIGHER HILLS OF THE INTERIOR VALLEYS.

OVER THE COAST RANGE AND THE CASCADES...POTENTIAL FOR SNOW IS
BETTER. AT THIS TIME...THERE IS POTENTIAL FOR 3 TO 6 INCHES OF
SNOW IN THE COAST RANGE ABOVE 1000 FEET...AND PERHAPS 5 TO 10
INCHES IN THE CASCADES.

ANOTHER FAST MOVING SYSTEM WILL PASS ACROSS THE REGION FRIDAY AND
SATURDAY...WITH ANOTHER CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS.

IF YOU ARE PLANNING TRAVEL OVER THE MOUNTAINS AND THROUGH THE
WOODS LATER THIS WEEK...MONITOR THE LATEST WEATHER FORECASTS AND
POSSIBLE WARNINGS OR ADVISORIES. BE PREPARED FOR WINTERY DRIVING
CONDITIONS...ESPECIALLY OVER THE CASCADES RANGE.

Hydrologic Outlook: Dec. 27-28, 2010

Hydrologic Outlook

HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK
ORZ001>014-WAZ019>023-039-040-281930-

HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
1130 AM PST MON DEC 27 2010

...HEAVY RAIN WILL RAISE RIVER LEVELS THROUGH MID WEEK...

A WET AND WARM STORM SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO BRING PERIODS OF HEAVY
RAIN TO THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST BEGINNING EARLY THIS EVENING AND
CONTINUING THROUGH LATE TUESDAY. THE CURRENT FORECAST FOCUSES THE
HEAVIEST RAINFALL OVER THE COAST RANGE OF OREGON DURING THE
OVERNIGHT HOURS TONIGHT...WITH PRECIPITATION FALLING MAINLY AS
SNOW IN THE CASCADES. THE POSSIBILITY OF SHARP RISES AND SOME AREA
RIVERS REACHING BANKFULL LEVELS EXISTS.

THE CURRENT FORECAST INDICATES THE HEAVIEST PRECIPITATION WILL
FALL OVER THE COAST RANGE OF OREGON...WITH 2 TO 3 INCHES OF
RAINFALL EXPECTED THROUGH TUESDAY. THE SNOW LEVEL IS AROUND 2000
TO 2500 FEET TODAY...THEREFORE PRECIPITATION WILL BEGIN AS SNOW
IN THE CASCADES. THE SNOW LEVEL WILL RISE TO 4000 TO 5000 FEET
LATE TONIGHT...TURNING SNOW TO RAIN AT PASS LEVELS WITH 1 TO 2
INCHES OF RAINFALL EXPECTED AT THESE LEVELS DURING THE DAY
TUESDAY. UP TO AN INCH OF RAIN CAN BE EXPECTED AT LOWER ELEVATIONS
INLAND.

THESE AMOUNTS OF RAIN WOULD PUSH RIVER LEVELS UP SHARPLY LATER
TONIGHT AND TUESDAY...AND SOME COULD REACH BANKFULL AS EARLY AS
TUESDAY MORNING. RIVERS DRAINING THE COAST RANGE ARE THE MOST
LIKELY TO BE IMPACTED.

VISIT WEATHER.GOV/PORTLAND FOR THE LATEST WEATHER AND RIVER
FORECASTS.

Volunteer Management Training

Columbia County Emergency Management is glad to provide the following training to the public:

Volunteer Management

Friday, February 11th, 8:30-4:30
Columbia 911, St. Helens (RSVP required--see below)

This is a comprehensive, one-day class on all aspects of establishing, operating, and maintaining a volunteer program.

Topics Include:

* Recruiting
* Evaluating
* Developing a volunteer program
* Supervising
* Training
* And Much More!

This class is open to anyone, but RSVPs are required. To register, please contact Renate Rudolph at Renate.Rudolph@co.columbia.or.us or call 503-366-3934.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tornado Preparedness Information

Even though they don't happen very often, tornados do happen as we saw in Aumsville this week. Here are some preparedness tips from FEMA to be aware of if one strikes in Columbia County:

  • Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
  • Have an emergency kit with food, water and other supplies.
  • It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
  • You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.
  • Determine in advance where you will take shelter in case of a tornado warning:
    • Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
    • If underground shelter is not available, go into an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
    • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
    • Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they attract debris.
    • A vehicle, trailer or mobile home does not provide good protection. Plan to go quickly to a building with a strong foundation, if possible.
    • If shelter is not available, lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
    • Plan to stay in the shelter location until the danger has passed.


For more information, please visit http://ready.gov .

Tornados in the Area

Did you know we had a tornado in Scappoose in 1978? Do you realize how many tornados have been in the area?

The National Weather Service in Portland has posted information about the recorded history of tornados in the area. Here is a link to that info:

http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/paststorms/tornado.php

Snow This Weekend: December 17-18, 2010

The National Weather Service in Portland has informed us that we are likely to see a little snow tonight and early tomorrow morning before the snow level rises to 2000 feet and turns to rain for us in Columbia County. Expected amounts by noon Saturday are 1-2 inches at the lowest elevations levels. Most of you who live in higher elevations know that this could end up being a couple of more inches for you, however.
The good news is that temperatures countywide are expected to get up to around 40 Saturday afternoon, so the snow should be short-lived. Further information will be sent out if need be.
Remember to check the following websites for more information at work or home:
* TripCheck--ODOT's website for statewide highway information: http://tripcheck.net (you may also dial 511)
* National Weather Service in Portland: http://weather.gov/portland
* Columbia County Emergency Management Blog: http://columbiacountyem.blogspot.com
Please pass along to others in your organization.
Thanks,
Derek White
Columbia County Emergency Management

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Columbia County Receives SBA Disaster Assistance

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
December 15, 2010
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Columbia County Receives Small Business Disaster Assistance Declaration

ST. HELENS–Small, non-farm businesses in Columbia County are eligible for disaster assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for potential losses from last spring’s excessive rain and low temperatures.

This assistance was made possible due to an agricultural disaster declaration made by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on December 8th for damage to crops from low temperatures that occurred between April 1st through July 4th, 2010. That declaration was for Multnomah and Clackamas Counties, but Columbia County was added because contiguous counties are allowed to access programs under those declarations.

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” explains Alfred Judd, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center–West.

This declaration can give such much-needed assistance to local businesses, according to Columbia County Emergency Management Director Derek White. “It is quite possible that the agricultural weather issues from earlier this year could have had an effect on other types of businesses. This low-interest loan program could help businesses still struggling from that weather event”, White says.

Information and application forms are available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or visiting SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance . Hearing impaired individuals may call (800) 877-8339.

The deadline to apply for these loans is August 8, 2011.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance, but are eligible for USDA assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the local Farm Services Agency (FSA) office at (503) 725-2300. The agricultural disaster assistance deadline is also August 8, 2011.

To read more about assistance available, visit Columbia County Emergency Management online at http://columbiacountyem.blogspot.com or call 503-366-3931.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Columbia County Agricultural Disaster Declared

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
December 13, 2010
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Columbia County Receives Agricultural Disaster Assistance Declaration

ST. HELENS--Columbia County farmers are eligible for disaster assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for potential losses from last spring’s excessive rain and low temperatures.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack approved a disaster declaration request from Multnomah and Clackamas Counties on December 8th for damage to crops from low temperatures that occurred between April 1st through July 4th, 2010. Due to the way the USDA disaster declaration process works, farmers in counties contiguous to these counties are also eligible, making the declaration applicable to Columbia County.

This declaration opens up certain types of assistance for farmers, according to Derek White with Columbia County Emergency Management. “Farmers here are able to apply for disaster assistance from the Farm Service Agency. That assistance, if the applicant is eligible, ranges from emergency loans to supplemental revenue assistance payments”, White says.

Farmers have until August 8th, 2011 to apply. Assistance applications must be filed at the nearest Farm Service Agency (FSA) office, which is located at:

Washington County FSA
1080 SW Baseline, Suite B2
Hillsboro, OR 97123

For questions about the program, please contact the Washington County FSA office at 503-648-3174.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Nehalem River Status and Prediction 12/11 2:55 PM


Latest graph from the National Weather Service for Nehalem at Vernonia. Please do not focus on Foss gauge if you live near Nehalem in Columbia County, as Foss is downstream.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Flood Watch this Weekend

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for much of the Pacific Northwest including Columbia County. Click here to read the flood watch statement

Two significant batches of rain will pass through the area.

Total rain levels from these systems are expected to be:

  • 5-9” with locally higher totals possible north coast, Coast range, south Washington Cascades
  • 3-6” central OR Cascades
  • 2-3.5” inland
Sharp river rises expected to push several rivers to flood stage Saturday night into Sunday.

The break in rainfall between storms is not as long as previously anticipated


Flooding concerns increased north OR coast, south WA Cascades


Wind gusts Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning –45 -55 mph coast, 15-25 mph inland


Hazards to proactively prepare for:
o Heavy rain (North coast and mountains)
o River flooding, many rivers near bankfull
o Small stream flooding, with urban ponding likely
o Landslides and debris flow potential, especially Coast Range

Sandbags
Sandbag materials are available at Columbia County Road Department
(1054 Oregon Street, St. Helens between the Animal Shelter and the Road Department) and St. Helens Public Works (984 Oregon Street, St. Helens). It is a "make your own" system so come with that expectation if you do stop by to get sand bags.

Sandbags are available at the County Road Department 7 days a week. Citizens are asked to be considerate and take only between 10 and 15 bags per trip.

Nehalem River Level and Prediction: 12/10 at 3:30 PM

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Nehalem River near Vernonia: Thurs. 12/9 9:08 PM

Heavy Rain this Weekend

The National Weather Service has advised us of some significant rainfall this coming weekend that has the potential to raise river levels and possibly cause some minor flooding.
Here are the details:

  • A very wet and warm weather pattern with tropical moisture is heading toward the Pacific northwest.
  • There will be two significant batches of rain
  1. The first one (Sat night/Sunday) is the strongest and of most concern. This system has the potential of dropping 3" to 6" of rain at the coast, in the Coast Range, Willapa Hills and the Cascades. It may drop from 1" to 3" inland.
  2. The second system comes in on Monday with a cold front and may drop 1" to 2" of rain in the Coast Range, Willapa Hills and the Cascades, and .5" to 1" inland.
  • Sharp rises in river levels are expected to push rivers to their banks Saturday night into Sunday, but the break in the rainfall on Sunday should allow most rivers to recede somewhat before the Monday rain.

At this point, it is still uncertain where the focus of the precipitation will be; the amount of rainfall may vary from the predicted numbers depending on where the precipitation focuses.

Hazards to proactively prepare for:
  • Heavy rain
  • River flooding, urban and small stream flooding
  • Landslides and debris flow potential, especially Coast Range
For further information:
www.nwrfc.noaa.gov (river forecasts and data)

Please check back for updates.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Longview Fibre to Test Alarms

FYI--sometimes this is audible on the Oregon side of the river. Please pass along to others who may be affected or receive reports about this.

Longview Fibre to Test Alarms

Longview Daily News, 12/6/10

Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging, Inc. will start sounding mill evacuation alarms 7 p.m. Tuesday for training purposes, the company announced Thursday.

The mill will also sound alarms at 7:10 p.m. Dec. 9, 11 and 13. The last test alarm will sound 7:10 a.m. Dec. 14.

The alarm will be audible to neighboring homes and businesses and last about three to five minutes.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Local Agencies Awarded Grant Money

PRESS RELEASE
November 22, 2010
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Local Agencies Awarded Grant for Emergency Generators

ST. HELENS–A local city and fire district have been awarded federal grant dollars to help purchase emergency power generators.

Columbia County Emergency Management recently received word that Scappoose Rural Fire District and Columbia City were awarded over $74,000 combined for generators that will help them operate during disasters or long-term power outages. The funding comes from the federal State Homeland Security Grant Program, which provides local agencies with the opportunity to address gaps in emergency equipment, planning or training needs.

Derek White, Director of Columbia County Emergency Management, said that the grant addresses a major need. “Generators are always in demand whenever we lose power and need electricity for a shelter or for emergency operations to continue. This grant will allow our agencies to continue to do what they need to do no matter what comes our way.”

White added that his agency, which is responsible for coordinating disaster preparedness and response around Columbia County, worked with both agencies to write and apply for the grant after agencies from around the county met to prioritize grant requests.

“There was a limited amount of money available. Local public safety agencies met in May and made the Scappoose Fire/Columbia City project a priority for funding,” White said.

Leahnette Rivers, city administrator for Columbia City, stated that the funds will be used to purchase a mobile generator that could be used at any city facility or by other agencies if it is not needed locally.

"This mobile generator will play a key role in Columbia City's ability to continue critical operations in the event of a disaster. As an added benefit, the generator will be available for mutual aid use throughout the region when we're not using it. Emergency Management's assistance in securing State Homeland Security Grant funding for this valuable tool is greatly appreciated."

Scappoose Fire will use its share of the funds to replace an outdated generator on loan from the federal government at its main station in Scappoose, which also serves as an emergency operations center for the Scappoose region.

“This new generator will operate the entire fire station and will automatically turn on after the loss of electrical power within 10 – 30 seconds,” Scappoose Fire Chief Michael Greisen noted.
“It will allow us to continue to operate our joint command center with the City of Scappoose and the Scappoose School District during our natural disasters.”

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Winter/Cold Weather Prep Tips

Winter/Cold Weather Preparedness Tips:

http://www.oregonredcross.org/general.asp?SN=2844&OP=12895&SUOP=12896&SUOP2=13002&IDCapitulo=663B0ID44V

Winter Weather Update: 11/21/2010

Update from Columbia County Emergency Management:

The National Weather Service in Portland has advised that we will see some snow over the next couple of days, more likely Monday afternoon-evening (will likely affect commute/school release). With around an 80% chance, they expect us to have around two (2) inches county-wide by the end of Monday.
There is also a chance for a dusting of snow overnight in the lower-level areas (along US 30: Clatskanie, Rainier, Columbia City, St. Helens, Scappoose) and up to an inch in the higher elevations (Vernonia, Mist, Birkenfeld, Chapman, etc.) Sunday afternoon and evening.
The other item of note is that it will be chilly the next few days. Particularly, Tuesday and Wednesday will see highs in the mid-30s and lows in the 20s. Folks who are outside should dress in layers. These days are expected to be dry, however, so no additional snow is expected.
We could start to see the snow melt off later in the week around Thanksgiving Day. For updated information, please visit:
* Updated Emergency Information: http://columbiacountyem.blogspot.com
PUBLIC SAFETY/UTILITIES/SCHOOLS: Please pass on to others in your organizations.
All others may feel free to pass along to others as well. Let's stay safe out there!
Thanks,

Columbia County Emergency Management
503-366-3931

Friday, November 19, 2010

New Columbia 9-1-1 Administrator Hired

PRESS RELEASE FROM COLUMBIA 9-1-1 COMMUNICATIONS DISTRICT:

For Immediate Release Contact: Sally Jones 503 970-8403

Dee Wooley 503 728-3403

Columbia 9-1-1 Announces New Administrator Selection

Sally Jones, Columbia 9-1-1’s first Administrator, will retire on December 31, 2010.

The Board of Directors of the Columbia 9-1-1 Communications District announced Wednesday, November 17, 2010 that Richard (Rick) Whitehead of Austin, Texas, has accepted their offer of employment as the 9-1-1 District’s next Administrator, contingent upon successful completion of background investigation.

The Administrator is the chief executive officer, responsible for all functions and services of the District, and answers to the elected Board of Directors. The Board governs with the involvement of a statutory Advisory Committee which consists of all fire/emergency medical chiefs, the county sheriff, all police chiefs, the county emergency manager and any other public or private entity providing public safety in the jurisdiction. The Board also appoints five citizens to its annual Budget Committee.

“We are pleased with the very high caliber of candidates who responded to our announcement and participated in our screening processes. We are especially grateful to the many stakeholders that assisted the Board in our selection. With their help we met our goal of securing an individual that we believe is highly qualified to lead our critical services into the future with the professional skill and prudent approach our communities rightly expect and demand”, said Dee Wooley, Board President.

Administrator-Select Whitehead holds a bachelor of applied arts & sciences degree from Midwestern State University with major course work in criminal justice and public administration. He is a graduate of the FBI Academy, session #197 and the Leadership and Command College of Texas. He holds a Certified Public Manager designation from the Hobby Center for Public Services in Texas. His 30+ year career has spanned all aspects of military, municipal and county law enforcement including directing Emergency (9-1-1) Communications, Homicide, SWAT and Special Operations. He is an experienced and well respected public safety trainer. He has been responsible for various project implementations such as accreditation and regional radio & mobile data as well as working in collaboration with child protection, family violence task force and school resource officer units. Most recently Whitehead has served on the operations board of a combined transportation emergency communications center which fostered regional interoperability and new technology installations.

Whitehead and his wife, Deb, have three grown children - two sons who are both firefighters and a daughter who is a journalist. Whitehead plans to report to work in early December and work with the District’s current Administrator at least through December 31st to assure a smooth transition.

Sally Jones, hired in 1990 as Administrator when the 9-1-1 District was first formed by voters, plans to retire on December 31st. Jones, who began her emergency communications career in 1973 following a 2 year stint as nurse, said, “I have been so fortunate to experience myriad improvements in 9-1-1 services during my career - the most obvious of which is technologies that help us identify the location of emergencies, speed up response activations and support interoperable communications among field units. Also exciting to me, are the great advances in emergency medical pre-ambulance arrival support, increases in volunteer involvement, fire prevention and disaster preparedness programs and other partnerships we have with citizens and local businesses that enhance our ability to prevent injury and save lives. I will miss all that, but, I will miss the many extraordinary people I have worked with most of all. I am thankful for the Board’s careful selection of the next Administrator; Mr. Whitehead will serve our District mission very well and will continue our commitment to excellence in public service”.

Safety Corridor Along Warren Stretch of US 30

Safety Corridor Along Warren Stretch of US 30

http://www.kptv.com/traffic/25842502/detail.html

Winter Weather Advisory Extended 11/19/2010

Winter Weather Advisory

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
716 AM PST FRI NOV 19 2010

ORZ003-004-010-012-WAZ020-040-192300-
/O.CON.KPQR.WW.Y.0019.000000T0000Z-101120T0800Z/
COAST RANGE OF NORTHWEST OREGON-
CENTRAL COAST RANGE OF WESTERN OREGON-
NORTHERN OREGON CASCADE FOOTHILLS-
CASCADE FOOTHILLS IN LANE COUNTY-WILLAPA HILLS-
SOUTH WASHINGTON CASCADE FOOTHILLS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...VERNONIA...SANDY...SWEET HOME...
COTTAGE GROVE...TOUTLE...ARIEL...COUGAR
716 AM PST FRI NOV 19 2010

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE WILLAPA
HILLS...THE NORTH AND CENTRAL OREGON COAST RANGE...AND THE SOUTH
WASHINGTON AND NORTH AND CENTRAL OREGON CASCADE FOOTHILLS UNTIL
MIDNIGHT PST TONIGHT...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT
PST TONIGHT.

* TIMING...ANOTHER ROUND OF ACCUMULATING SNOW SHOWERS IS NOW
MOVING INLAND AND WILL SPREAD ACROSS THE AREA THROUGH MIDNIGHT
TONIGHT.

* SNOW LEVELS...SNOW LEVELS WILL BE AROUND 1500 TO 2000 FEET
THROUGH THE THIS EVENING...LOWERING TO 1000 FEET IN HEAVIER
SHOWERS.

* ACCUMULATION...AN ADDITIONAL 2 TO 5 INCHES OF SNOW IS POSSIBLE
THROUGH MIDNIGHT TONIGHT...ON TOP OF THE SNOW THAT HAS ALREADY
FALLEN.

* IMPACTS...DRIVERS SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR ICY OR SNOW COVERED
ROADS AND WINTER LIKE DRIVING CONDITIONS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW
WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW
COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE
DRIVING.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Weekend Weather Outlook

Columbia County participated in a conference call this afternoon with the National Weather Service. NWS is predicting some persistent cool weather and lower snow levels through the weekend and into next week. However, the amount of precipitation that will accompany this cool weather is still not known, so the chance of snow is variable.
As things stand, the chances of snow are slim, with the greatest chances of snow being on Sunday-Monday as the snow level drops to near the valley floor. But again, it is uncertain how much moisture will be present when the cool air arrives. Based on current data, this would be a light dusting of snow on the valley floor that would not linger.
The detailed potential outlook for the next few days is as follows:
Friday the 19th through Sunday the 21st
Snow Levels
- Fri: 1000-2000 ft
- Sat: 500-1500 ft
- Sun: near surface (north) -1500 ft (south)
Low Elevation Snow:
A possibility with strong showers, but light, if any. Best chances of snow on Saturday and Sunday.
Temperatures:
Lows: Low 30s
Hghs: Upper 30s to mid 40s
Monday the 22nd through Thursday the 25th
Snow Levels:
- Mon: Surface -1000 ft
- Tue: Surface -1000 ft
- Wed: 500 -1500 ft
Low Elevation Snow:
A possibility, but light, if any. Precipitation chances decreasing with time. Best chances of snow on Monday and Tuesday. Models currently agree on dry remainder of week.
Temperatures:
Lows: mid 20s
Highs: 30s to near 40
(moderating midweek)
Please note that this is a prediction from the National Weather Service based on scientific research, not a foregone conclusion. Updates on weather watches and warnings will be posted to our online networks:
Facebook: search for "Columbia County Emergency Management"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Winter Weather Advisory for Columbia County 11/18

Winter Weather Advisory

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
203 PM PST WED NOV 17 2010

COAST RANGE OF NORTHWEST OREGON-
CENTRAL COAST RANGE OF WESTERN OREGON-
NORTHERN OREGON CASCADE FOOTHILLS-
CASCADE FOOTHILLS IN LANE COUNTY-WILLAPA HILLS-
SOUTH WASHINGTON CASCADE FOOTHILLS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...VERNONIA...SANDY...SWEET HOME...
COTTAGE GROVE...TOUTLE...ARIEL...COUGAR
203 PM PST WED NOV 17 2010

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM THURSDAY TO
MIDNIGHT PST THURSDAY NIGHT FOR THE THE WILLAPA HILLS...THE NORTH
AND CENTRAL OREGON COAST RANGE...AND THE SOUTH WASHINGTON AND
NORTH AND CENTRAL OREGON CASCADE FOOTHILLS...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PORTLAND HAS ISSUED A WINTER
WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM THURSDAY
TO MIDNIGHT PST THURSDAY NIGHT.

* TIMING...HEAVY RAINFALL WILL SWITCH OVER TO SNOW SHOWERS
OVERNIGHT...BEGINNING IN SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON AND SPREADING
SOUTH THROUGH LATE TONIGHT. ACCUMULATING SNOW WILL BEGIN IN ALL
AREAS BY EARLY THURSDAY MORNING...WITH SIGNIFICANT ACCUMULATIONS
EXPECTED DURING THE DAY ON THURSDAY.

* SNOW LEVELS...SNOW LEVELS BETWEEN 4000 TO 5000 FEET
THIS EVENING WILL DROP DRAMATICALLY OVERNIGHT TO AROUND 2000
FEET THURSDAY MORNING AND 1500 FEET BY THURSDAY NIGHT.

* ACCUMULATION...4 TO 8 INCHES OF SNOW IS POSSIBLE...WITH HIGHER
ACCUMULATIONS POSSIBLE UNDER AREAS OF HEAVIER SHOWERS.

* IMPACTS...DRIVERS SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR ICY OR SNOW COVERED
ROADS AND WINTER LIKE DRIVING CONDITIONS.


PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW
WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW
COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE
DRIVING.

At-Risk Populations Working Group Meeting: Nov 30

Interested in helping prepare individuals with special or functional needs for emergencies in our community? Then join us for our quarterly planning meeting on November 30th! The meeting will be held at 10 AM at Columbia 9-1-1, 58611 McNulty Way in St. Helens.

For questions, call 503-366-3931 or e-mail emergency.management@co.columbia.or.us .

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Business Planing Article

This is a great article from Emergency Management magazine...

Staying Open: Disaster Preparedness for Small Businesses

Diana McClure wants small businesses to ask themselves a few simple questions in the face of a possible disaster: “What is it we do as a company? What would be the most important things for us to do to survive a disaster? And what would we need to get up and running again?”

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Small-Businesses-Survive-Disaster.html?page=1&

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Weekend Weather for Columbia County

Columbia County Emergency Management and several local emergency responders participated in a conference call this afternoon with the National Weather Service. They are predicting some strong storms for the weekend as a low-pressure front camps off of Puget Sound and causes the jet stream to hold over NW Oregon and SW Washington. During this time, three storm fronts (starting tonight and the strongest coming Saturday night-Sunday) will swing our way.
Potentials for this weekend include:
* Coast Range/West side of Columbia County--high winds (up to 40-50 MPH) Saturday night and Sunday and total weekend rainfall from 2-5 inches. Wind forecast may change for the good or bad, so please monitor later forecasts for further information.
* Valleys/Eastern side of Columbia County--gusts up to 30-35 MPH at times Saturday night and Sunday and total weekend rainfall of 1-2 inches.
* Potential for a second low to form over SW Washington that may create strong winds even in the valleys Sunday night--check for later forecasts.
* Heavy rains may occur at times. It is possible that the National Weather Service will issue flash flood watches/warnings at times this weekend. The good news is that local rivers are at low levels, so river flooding is unlikely.
Please note that this is a prediction from the National Weather Service based on scientific research, not a foregone conclusion. Updates on weather watches and warnings will be posted to our online networks.

Thanks,

Columbia County Emergency Management

Monday, October 18, 2010

Columbia County Courthouse Holding Emergency Drill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 18, 2010


MEDIA RELEASE

INFORMATION CONTACT:
Janet Wright, PIO, 503-397-1035
Derek White, Director, Emergency Management 503-366-3905


Courthouse To Hold Emergency Drill

St. Helens - Employees at the Columbia County Courthouse will be participating in an evacuation drill at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, Oct. 20th. This drill is not anticipated to last more than thirty (30) minutes.

“Citizens should understand that this means your
business activities with County departments or the State Courts will be delayed or interrupted during this time frame and you will be asked to leave the building temporarily,” says Derek White, county emergency management director. “We apologize in advance for the inconvenience, but it is important for our employees to practice their emergency procedures for their safety as well as the safety of visitors to our courthouse.”

If you have questions, please contact Derek White
with Emergency Management at 503-366-3905.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Get Flood Insurance While Rates Are Low!

COLUMBIA COUNTY PRESS RELEASE


ST. HELENS–Columbia County is urging residents affected by the new and recently-approved Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood maps to get insurance before November 25th, the day before the new maps take effect.



Columbia County recently completed the process of reviewing and renewing flood maps, which help identify hazard zones and high-risk properties that would be eligible for flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Some properties that were not in the flood plain in the past are now listed as in the flood plain, which means those residents may need to purchase a NFIP flood insurance policy.



Columbia County Commissioner Tony Hyde says that residents who were not in the flood plain on the old maps can get flood insurance before the November 25th deadline at a lower rate. “It costs much less than buying the insurance after November 25th and you can grandfather the rate in future years so that the increase is not so expensive.”



According to Glen Higgins, flood plain administrator for the county, if your dwelling has historically been mapped as out of the Flood Hazard area and now with the new maps are in, then you should purchase flood insurance prior to the November 25, 2010 deadline, so you qualify for Preferred Risk Policy. This Preferred Risk rate can be continued on that policy for a period of two years as long as the insurance policy is kept current. After two renewals, your policy will transition to a standard rate schedule, but because you bought a policy when your dwelling was out of the flood hazard area, you can grandfather to the “out of the flood zone” rate, or use the new zone rate whichever is less expensive for you.



Those with mortgages may be forced by their lenders to purchase the flood insurance because standard home insurance does not cover flood insurance, according to Derek White, the county’s emergency management director. “All folks in the flood plain are highly encouraged to get flood insurance even if they don’t have a mortgage company requiring them to do so as home insurance doesn’t cover flooding,” White states.



White also added that NFIP policies will pay claims even when federal disaster help is not eligible. “We had flooding in Clatskanie in January 2009 that did not meet the requirements for a federal disaster declaration. Those who had flood insurance were still able to get assistance with claims they filed and others were unable to get any kind of recovery assistance.”



For more information on the NFIP, go to http://www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-888-379-9531. You may also call Glen at 503-397-7217.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Services for Individuals with Disabilities

The Advisory Council for Columbia County Developmental Disability Program, along with other providers of social services for kids and adults, will be be hosting FREE informational panel discussions on services available to persons with disabilities.

The panel discussions are scheduled for:

* October 12th from 7-8 PM at Columbia Community Mental Health Community Room, 58646 McNulty Way in St. Helens.

* October 26th from 7-8 PM at Clatskanie School District Office, 555 SW Bryant in Clatskanie.


The sessions are open to the public, especially those most interested in the topic. Columbia County Emergency Management will be one of the presenting agencies. For more information, please call Nancy Humphries at 503-438-2223.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Clatskanie Safety and Health Fair October 2nd

There will be a safety and health fair in Clatskanie this Saturday, October 2nd from 10 AM-2 PM at two locations:

* Fire Station/Wauna Credit Union Parking Lots on Truhaak Drive
* Clatskanie Elementary Cardiff Gymnasium

Various agencies, including Columbia County Emergency Management, will be there. Presenters and presentations include:

+ Clatskanie PUD: Electricity Demo Board
+ Clatskanie Kiwanis: Bicycle Rodeo
+ Columbia County Sheriff: Boater Safety
+ Clatskanie Gun Club: Gun Safety Tips

There is much more, and the event is FREE! Columbia County Rider will offer transportation between the two sites, also for FREE! Come join the fun on Saturday!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

ServiceMaster Classes

ServiceMaster is holding two courses on damage mitigation and cleanup in the coming weeks. The courses (listed below) are both held at 2305 Columbia Heights Road in Longview and are scheduled for:

* Water Damage Mitigation (October 13th from 9 AM-Noon)

* Smoke and Odor Mitigation (November 17th from 9AM-Noon)

Both courses are free and reservations are requested. Please call Jeremy Wilson at 360-425-3331 or e-mail Jeremy.Wilson@servicemasterjts.com to schedule a seat.

DISCLAIMER: Columbia County Emergency Management is passing along this information as a courtesy and for interested parties. It is not an endorsement of any private business' services.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hazardous Weather Outlook for Columbia County


Hazardous Weather Outlook


HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
510 AM PDT FRI SEP 17 2010

ORZ001>005-WAZ020>022-181515-
NORTH OREGON COAST-CENTRAL OREGON COAST-
COAST RANGE OF NORTHWEST OREGON-
CENTRAL COAST RANGE OF WESTERN OREGON-LOWER COLUMBIA-
WILLAPA HILLS-SOUTH WASHINGTON COAST-I-
5 CORRIDOR IN COWLITZ COUNTY-
510 AM PDT FRI SEP 17 2010

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR THE COAST AND COASTAL HILLS
OF NORTHWEST OREGON AND SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT

AN UNSEASONABLY WET FRONTAL SYSTEM WILL BRING UP TO ONE TO TWO
INCHES OF RAIN TO THE SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON AND NORTHWEST OREGON
COAST AND COAST RANGE BY THIS EVENING. RAINFALL RATES MAY BE HEAVY
AT TIMES...LEADING TO PONDING ON AREA ROADS.

MAINSTEM RIVERS ARE STILL LOW DUE TO THE DRY SUMMER PERIOD...SO
LARGER SCALE HYDROLOGIC ISSUES ARE NOT EXPECTED.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...SATURDAY THROUGH THURSDAY

NO HAZARDOUS WEATHER IS EXPECTED AT THIS TIME.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...

SPOTTER REPORTS OF ANY HEAVY RAINFALL TOTALS OR UNUSUALLY HEAVY
RAINRATES WOULD BE HELPFUL TODAY.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Update on Scappoose Weather Spotter Class

The weather spotter class to be held in Scappoose on Tuesday, October 5th at 7 PM will now be held at the Scappoose Senior Center at 33342 SW Meadow Drive (instead of the Scappoose Fire Department). If you are interested in attending, please contact us at 503-366-3933 or Will.Dubois@co.columbia.or.us .

Friday, September 10, 2010

Columbia County Proclaims National Preparedness Month

COMMISSIONERS PROCLAIM SEPTEMBER “NATIONAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS MONTH”





At the regular meeting of the Columbia County Board of Commissioners, Derek White, Columbia County Emergency Manager asked the Board to approve a proclamation designating the month of September as “National Emergency Preparedness Month”.



It is important that residents be proactive in preparing for any and all disasters or emergency situations. “We encourage all residents and businesses to have a plan and a disaster supply kit assembled and ready to go”, said Commissioner Tony Hyde. Columbia County has been affected by numerous disasters in past years, including five presidentially-declared disasters within the last decade, we want everyone to be aware of the information and training that is available to prepare for emergency situations”, he said.



The American Red Cross urges residents to “Be Red Cross Ready”. Get a kit. Make a plan, and be informed. For emergency preparedness information, go to www.redcross.org. For information on the County Emergency Management visit our website at www.co.columbia.or.us, click on departments and scroll down to Emergency Management. Those interested can also sign up to follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/columbiacoem and read our Blog at http://columbiacountyem.blogspot.com.



Contact Derek White, Director, Emergency Management at 503-366-3931.

Special Vernonia Preparedness and Earthquake Presentation

It's time to prepare for the coming winter and.....earthquakes? Columbia County Emergency Management will be holding a Preparedness and Earthquake Presentation at the Vernonia Fire Department (555 East Bridge Street) on Tuesday, Oct. 19th from 6:30-8 PM.

Vernonia sits in a very important seismic area and it's important to know how it might affect you. James Roddey, earth sciences information officer for the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, will be the speaker. His presentations have been featured on CNN and he is known for his entertaining and informational presentations.

Columbia County Emergency Management will also discuss the upcoming winter season and how to be prepared. The event is FREE and a prize drawing for participants will be held.

For more information, please contact Emergency Management at 503-366-3905 or at emergency.management@co.columbia.or.us

Countywide Preparedness Talks

We have been told that this coming winter will be colder and wetter than usual. Are you ready?

Join your Columbia County Emergency Management staff for presentations being held around the county in October and November. Each presentation will be packed with useful information on how to get ready for winter and how to prepare for disasters in general. Each event is FREE and there will be a prize drawing for participants at each venue!

Here is where and when we will be holding presentations:

* Clatskanie--Thursday, Oct. 7th from 10:30-11:30 AM at the Flippin Castle, 620 SW Tichenor Street

* Columbia City--Monday, Oct. 18th from 7-8 PM at the Columbia City Community Hall, 1850 2nd Street

* Rainier--Thursday, Oct. 28th from 7-8 PM at the Rainier School District Boardroom, 28170 Old Rainier Road

* St. Helens--Thursday, Nov. 18th from 10:30-11:30 AM at the St. Helens Senior Center, 375 South 15th Street


If you have questions, please contact Columbia County Emergency Management at 503-366-3931 or emergency.management@co.columbia.or.us

Thursday, September 2, 2010

VIPS Fund-Raiser September 8th

The Columbia County Volunteers in Partnership with the Sheriff (VIPS) will be holding a fund-raiser on Wednesday, September 8th from 5-9 PM at Burgerville in St. Helens. The VIPS program helps the Sheriff Office with Justice Facility staffing, traffic control during event, and much more. For more information, go to:

http://www.co.columbia.or.us/sheriff/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=16&Itemid=17

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Small Business Assistance Now Available

Sacramento, CA – Small, non-farm businesses in Washington County and the neighboring counties of Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Multnomah, Tillamook and Yamhill are now eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA). “These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by freezing temperatures that occurred in Washington County from December 1, 2009 through December 13, 2009,” announced Alfred E. Judd, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center West.

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” Judd said.

Small, non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

“Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 4%, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most private, non-profits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship,” Judd said.

By law, SBA makes EIDLs available when the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. Secretary Tom Vilsack declared this disaster at the request of Governor Ted Kulongoski.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency (FSA) about the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration.

Information and application forms are available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659 2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance. Hearing impaired individuals may call (800) 877 8339. Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Cooking in the Dark Class

From our friends in Cowlitz County....

Please join us on Saturday, September 18th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Longview Women’s Club (835 21st Ave) for a Cooking in the Dark emergency preparedness class. This is a great class taught by Marcie Maynes, a well-trained and enthusiastic instructor who is the owner of Simple Safety.

This class teaches you:

*How to prepare food without power for up to two weeks

*Proper long-term water and food storage

*What non-food items are necessary for survival

*Much, much more!

There will be several drawings for emergency supply items. Light refreshments will be served and feel free to bring a sack lunch. The flyer with all the information is attached. This is a free class and spaces will fill up fast—if you are interested in attending, please call or email me. Thanks!


Jennifer Engkraf

Emergency Management

Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office

312 SW First Avenue

Kelso, WA 98626

Phone (360) 577-3130

Fax (360) 577-3009

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fire Weather Warning Today

The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather warning for Columbia county from 7:14 am to 11:00 pm today.

The full text of the warning is posted below.

For more information, visit http://inws.wrh.noaa.gov/weather/alertinfo/672493.
++++++++++++++++++

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
714 AM PDT TUE AUG 24 2010

...COMBINATION OF HOT...DRY...AND UNSTABLE CONDITIONS...GUSTY
OFFSHORE WINDS...AND CRITICALLY DRY FUELS OVER INLAND AREAS OF
NORTHWEST OREGON AND SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON TODAY...

.A THERMAL TROUGH EXTENDING NORTHWARD ALONG THE OREGON AND
WASHINGTON COAST THIS MORNING IS COMBINING WITH HIGH PRESSURE EAST
OF THE CASCADES TO GENERATE GUSTY OFFSHORE WINDS...ESPECIALLY OVER
THE HIGHER TERRAIN. AS THE DAY PROGRESSES...THESE WINDS WILL MIX
DOWN INTO THE INTERIOR VALLEYS...INCLUDING THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY
AND CLARK COUNTY LOWLANDS. AFTER A COOL MORNING IN SOME AREAS...
THE OFFSHORE FLOW WILL CAUSE TEMPERATURES TO RISE FAST INTO THE
90S...AND RELATIVE HUMIDITY WILL FALL BELOW 20 PERCENT IN MANY
AREAS BY THIS AFTERNOON.

ORZ605-607-WAZ660-250215-
/O.NEW.KPQR.FW.W.0002.100824T1414Z-100825T0600Z/
ZONE 605-ZONE 607-ZONE 660-
714 AM PDT TUE AUG 24 2010

...RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 PM PDT THIS EVENING FOR
UNSTABLE CONDITIONS...GUSTY WINDS...AND HOT AND DRY CONDITIONS
COMBINING WITH CRITICALLY DRY FUELS FOR FIRE ZONES 605...607 AND
660...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PORTLAND HAS ISSUED A RED FLAG
WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 PM PDT THIS EVENING.


* AFFECTED AREA: IN OREGON.......FIRE ZONES 605 AND 607.
IN WASHINGTON...FIRE ZONE 660 .

* WIND: EAST WIND 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH...ESPECIALLY
NEAR THE COLUMBIA GORGE AND OVER RIDGETOPS.

* HUMIDITY: FALLING TO 12 TO 18 PERCENT BY THIS AFTERNOON.
SOME RIDGETOP LOCATIONS WERE ALREADY IN THE 20 TO 25 PERCENT
RANGE THIS MORNING.

* INSTABILITY: HAINES 6 OR NEAR-HAINES 6 CONDITIONS ARE DEVELOPING
THIS MORNING...BOTH AT THE MID AND HIGH LEVELS. THE HIGHLY
UNSTABLE CONDITIONS WILL PERSIST THROUGH THIS EVENING DUE TO THE
PROXIMITY OF THE THERMAL TROUGH.

* TEMPERATURES: WILL QUICKLY RISE INTO THE UPPER 80S TO MID 90S BY
EARLY AFTERNOON.

* IMPACTS: THESE CONDITIONS WILL GENERATE A FAVORABLE BURNING
ENVIRONMENT WITH POTENTIAL FOR LARGE FIRE GROWTH AND EXTREME
FIRE BEHAVIOR.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW...OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF
STRONG WINDS...LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY...AND WARM TEMPERATURES WILL
CREATE EXPLOSIVE FIRE GROWTH POTENTIAL.

&&

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Offical Hood to Coast Press Release

Hood to Coast will be heading through Columbia County next weekend. Local public safety officials have advice for residents and participants alike.

Read the official press release below.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
August 19, 2010

INFORMATION CONTACT:
Janet Wright, PIO - 503-397-1035

Columbia County Prepares for Hood-to-Coast Weekend

ST. HELENS–Various local agencies are prepping for another Hood-to-Coast run through Columbia County on Friday and Saturday, August 27-28.

Most of the annual marathon’s participants are runners who start at Mount Hood and end up in Seaside. Walkers and high school runners start the race in Portland. Several thousand people are involved in each portion of the marathon.

Local agencies have been busying preparing for the event, according to Columbia County Emergency Management Director Derek White. “We enjoy having Hood-to-Coast in our county. However, citizens need to be aware that having such an influx of folks in our county means we have to work together to make sure we have a good game plan for handling any issues that arise as well as address regular calls for service.”

The event starts in Columbia County on US 30 at the Multnomah County line. After going through Scappoose, the route heads off US 30 at Church Road in Warren, heads past the Fairgrounds into mostly rural areas of the county. The race then heads through Mist and Birkenfeld before exiting at the Clatsop County line.

"The Sheriff's Office will be working with partner public safety agencies to provide safety patrols on county roads and special enforcement and crowd control in congested areas," Sheriff Jeff Dickerson said. "Particular areas of concern are at Church Rd and Highway 30 and from Schaefer Rd and Apiary Rd to Mist," he said, adding "we will be providing an increased presence during peak hours in those congested areas." In addition, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office will restrict left turns onto US 30 from Church Road during the event.

Chief Mike Greisen of Scappoose Regional Fire District asks drivers to remain alert and to watch out for walkers and runners.

In addition, Chief Jay Tappan of Columbia River Fire and Rescue encourages Hood to Coast participants to stay safe and take precautions for heat-related problems by staying hydrated and wearing appropriate clothing for running or walking.

For updates on Hood-to-Coast’s run through the county, check out http://twitter.com/columbiacoem or look for “Columbia County Emergency Management” on Facebook. To learn more about the event, go to http://www.hoodtocoast.com .

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fire Weather Warning for 8/17 from 11am to 11pm

The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather warning for Columbia, Multnomah and Cowlitz counties from 11am to 11pm tomorrow, August 17th.

High temperatures, low humidity and the possibility of lightning create the environment for "large fire growth and extreme fire behavior" tomorrow.

For more information, go to http://inws.wrh.noaa.gov/weather/alertinfo/637950.

++++++++++++++++++
...RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM TO 11 PM PDT TUESDAY FOR
THUNDERSTORMS...HOT AND DRY CONDITIONS...AND CRITICALLY DRY FUELS FOR
FIRE ZONE 660...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PORTLAND HAS ISSUED A RED FLAG
WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM TO 11 PM PDT TUESDAY.

* AFFECTED AREA: IN WASHINGTON...FIRE ZONE 660.

* HAINES: 6 (HIGH) UNSTABLE AND DRY.

* THERMAL TROUGH: ENHANCED INSTABILITY WILL BE PROVIDED BY A
THERMAL TROUGH THAT WILL SLOWLY TRANSIT THE AREA FROM WEST TO
EAST.

* TEMPERATURES/HUMIDITY: TEMPERATURES WILL REMAIN HOT WITH HIGHS
IN THE UPPER 80S AND MINIMUM HUMIDITIES HOVERING AROUND 20 PERCENT.

* IMPACTS: THESE CONDITIONS WILL GENERATE A FAVORABLE BURNING
ENVIRONMENT WITH POTENTIAL FOR LARGE FIRE GROWTH AND EXTREME
FIRE BEHAVIOR. FURTHER...THE POTENTIAL FOR LIGHTNING ADDS AN
IGNITION COMPONENT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW...OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF
THUNDERSTORMS...DRY FUELS...LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY...AND WARM
TEMPERATURES WILL CREATE EXPLOSIVE FIRE GROWTH POTENTIAL.

&&

Friday, August 13, 2010

Heat Advisory in Effect for Columbia County

NOAA has issued a heat advisory for Columbia County from Saturday (August 14th) through Monday (August 16th).
Please watch for heat exhaustion if working outside and try to stay in cool areas.
For more information, go to http://www.weather.gov/portland.

++++++++++++++++++

URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
406 AM PDT FRI AUG 13 2010

...EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH
MONDAY EVENING FOR THE INLAND VALLEYS...COAST RANGE AND CASCADE
FOOTHILLS OF NORTHWEST OREGON AND SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON..

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PORTLAND HAS ISSUED AN EXCESSIVE
HEAT WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH
MONDAY EVENING.

* TIMING: A STRONG RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE WILL BRING VERY HOT
WEATHER TO THE REGION SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY.

* TEMPERATURE: HIGH TEMPERATURES IN THE MID TO UPPER 90S CAN BE
EXPECTED SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY WITH SOME LOCATIONS REACHING
100 DEGREES ON SUNDAY OR MONDAY.

* LOCATIONS INCLUDE: VANCOUVER...BATTLE GROUND...CAMAS..
WASHOUGAL...HOOD RIVER...CASCADE LOCKS...MULTNOMAH FALLS..
CORBETT...EUGENE...CORVALLIS...ALBANY...VERNONIA...SALEM..
MCMINNVILLE...SANDY...SWEET HOME...HILLSBORO...PORTLAND..
OREGON CITY...GRESHAM...TROUTDALE...ST. HELENS...TOUTLE..
ARIEL...COUGAR...ODELL...COTTAGE GROVE...LONGVIEW...KELSO..
STEVENSON...SKAMANIA

* IMPACTS: THE ELDERLY AND PEOPLE WITHOUT ACCESS TO AIR
CONDITIONING WILL BE PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE DURING THIS HEAT
EPISODE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS..

AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH MEANS THAT A PROLONGED PERIOD OF
DANGEROUSLY HOT TEMPERATURES IS POSSIBLE. THE EXCESSIVE HEAT MAY
CREATE A DANGEROUS SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT RELATED ILLNESSES ARE
LIKELY. NOW IS A GOOD TIME TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PLENTY OF NON-
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES AVAILABLE. MAKE PLANS TO STAY OUT OF THE
SUNSHINE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

&&

$$

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Weather Spotter Training October 5th

Columbia County Emergency Management and the National Weather Service will be holding Weather Spotter Training on Tuesday, October 5th @ 7 PM at the Scappoose Fire Department (52751 Columbia River Highway) in Scappoose.

The training is for responders, volunteers, weather enthusiasts, and anyone else! The course will cover various weather terms and observations as we head into the Pacific Northwest's severe weather season--winter. Cloud identification, snowfall, types of wind, weather terminology and much more will be covered. Emergency Management will also talk about emergency preparedness.

The training is FREE, but registrations are requested. To register, contact Will Dubois at 503-366-3933 or Will.Dubois@co.columbia.or.us .

Hood-to-Coast August 27-28

It's almost time for another Hood-to-Coast run through Columbia County! The annual marathon, which goes from Mount Hood to Seaside, will occur August 27 & 28. Several thousand participants are expected on each of the various portions--the full marathon, high school run from Portland to Seaside, and walking marathon from Portland to Seaside.

The event starts in Columbia County on US 30 at the Multnomah County line. After going through Scappoose, the route heads off US 30 at Church Road in Warren, heads past the Fairgrounds into mostly rural areas of the county. The race then heads through Mist and Birkenfeld before exiting at the Clatsop County line.

The Columbia County Sheriff Office will restrict left turns onto US 30 from Church Road during the event.

Please check back here for more information as we get closer to the event. To learn more about Hood-to-Coast, go to http://www.hoodtocoast.com .

Friday, August 6, 2010

Long-Term Forecast From AccuWeather.com

Winter Forecast 2010-2011: Heavier Snow for Chicago, Minneapolis and Detroit, Normal Snowfall for NYC, Philly and D.C.

AccuWeather.com--August 5th, 2010

The major metropolitan areas of the mid-Atlantic that were pummeled with snow last year will get a break this winter, but that doesn't mean there will be no snow to shovel. In contrast, Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis could be in the heaviest snow zone this upcoming winter.

Winter's Worst Cold and Snow

Overall, AccuWeather.com Chief Long-Range Meteorologist Joe Bastardi is predicting that the worst of winter's cold and snow will be from the Pacific Northwest into the northern Plains and western Great Lakes. That will put cities like Portland and Seattle that escaped with a very nice winter last year, colder and snowier this year. Fargo and Minneapolis to Green Bay will also receive above-normal winter snowfall.

Other cities predicted to receive above-normal winter snowfall include Chicago, Omaha, Minneapolis, Detroit, Cleveland, Seattle and Portland.

Bastardi predicts severe cold will hit Alaska and western and central Canada.

"The Canadian winter will be as harsh as last year's was gentle," Bastardi said.

Wintry Battle Zone But No Snowmageddon

In general, the East Coast will be granted a reprieve from the tremendous snowfall that caused 2009-2010's winter to be dubbed "snowmageddon."

This does not mean a free pass for the Northeast. Bastardi predicts late November and December could get winter off to a fast start in the East, with a major thaw coming for much of the country in January.

Bastardi makes the early cold connection between this year's active hurricane season and his winter forecast.

He said that years that see significant landfall, such as 1995, 2008 and 2005, usually also have cold for much of the eastern and central portions of the nation in December.

He said this year from the central Rockies to the Northeast a higher variance of temperatures will be present - "greater-than-normal swings between winter's coldest and warmest days." The conflicting warm and cold air masses contributing to these temperature fluctuations have placed this area into what Bastardi calls the "Wintry Battle Zone."

Despite the wild swings in temperatures, cities like New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., will still have near-normal snowfall. To put this in perspective, New York City receives an average of 28.4 inches of snowfall during winter.

Warmer and Drier South

The South and southern Plains will escape the worst of the winter weather with warmer and drier conditions compared to last year. Dallas, which received near-record snowfall last year, will be lucky to get normal snowfall this year.

While these areas will be warmer and drier, this does not preclude the southern Plains and South from the threat of a couple of ice storms, as cold air tries to intrude southward.

The best weather this winter will be in Florida. Bastardi suggests that Florida will be a great winter destination, with warmer-than-normal temperatures all winter long. We will also see warmer weather all along the Gulf coast, which could help the beach resorts recover from the economic downturn associated with the oil spill.

Southern California May Suffer from Drought

Southern California and portions of the Southwest could be threatened by a severe drought and high danger for wildfires, as Bastardi predicts a much drier-than-normal winter season for the region.

According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist and West Coast Expert Ken Clark, strict water management for Southern California could result come next spring and summer.

However, Bastardi predicts that from San Francisco and areas to the north, there could be more precipitation.

"This may be a great winter for building the Pacific Northwest and Canada snowpack, which is opposite of last winter," said Bastardi.

Temperatures this Winter

Temperature-wise, Bastardi is forecasting slightly higher-than-normal temperatures (0.5 to 1 degree warmer) for Boston, Washington, D.C., and New York City.

Detroit, Chicago, Kansas City and Minneapolis will be a degree or so cooler than average, while much of the western part of the nation may see temperatures that dip a couple of degrees.

Bastardi said Salt Lake City could be as much as 1-3 degrees colder, while Denver will be about 2 degrees below normal and both San Francisco and Los Angeles will have temperatures about 1.5 degrees cooler.

Above-normal snowfall is predicted for the Great Basin region, the Northwest and northern Plains, while the South and Southwest will get less snow than average.

Story by Kirstie Hettinga, Carly Porter and Henry Margusity, AccuWeather.com Staff Writers.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Columbia County Farmers Receive Ag Disaster Declaration

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
August 5, 2010
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Columbia County Receives Agricultural Disaster Assistance Declaration

ST. HELENS--Columbia County farmers are eligible for disaster assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for potential losses from last December’s freezing temperatures.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack approved a disaster declaration request from Washington County on August 2nd for damage to crops from low temperatures that occurred between December 1st and 13th, 2009. Due to the way the USDA disaster declaration process works, farmers in counties contiguous to Washington County are also eligible, making the declaration applicable to Columbia County.

This declaration opens up certain types of assistance for farmers, according to Derek White with Columbia County Emergency Management. “Farmers here are able to apply for disaster assistance from the Farm Service Agency. That assistance, if the applicant is eligible, ranges from emergency loans to supplemental revenue assistance payments”, White says.

Farmers have until April 2nd, 2011 to apply. Assistance applications must be filed at the nearest Farm Service Agency (FSA) office, which is located at:

Washington County FSA
1080 SW Baseline, Suite B2
Hillsboro, OR 97123

For questions about the program, please contact the Washington County FSA office at 503-648-3174.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Clatskanie CERT Fund-Raiser

The Clatskanie Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will be offering an old-fashioned dutch oven meal on Saturday, Aug. 7 at the Clatskanie City Park from 5-7 p.m. for $8. The menu includes sausage, corn-on-the-cob, cubed potatoes with mushroom and cheese sauce and coleslaw. The food will be prepared by David Moore, a professional dutch oven cook and teacher.

A 12-inch Camp Chef dutch oven donated by Moore will be raffled following the dinner. Tickets will be sold for $1 each, with 1000 tickets available. Proceeds from the raffle will go to the Clatskanie CERT team for vehicle repairs.

Report courtesy of The Clatskanie Chief http://www.clatskaniechiefnews.com

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Facebook, Twitter

Do you have Facebook or Twitter? Columbia County Emergency Management sends out regular alerts for preparedness, emergencies (flooding, most major accidents, etc.), and other important reminders through these two services--more often than blog updates. You can even set up Facebook and Twitter to send you text messages to your phone so you can get these important alerts while away from the computer!

Check us out at:

Twitter-- http://twitter.com/columbiacoem

Facebook-- search for "Columbia County Emergency Management"

Text messages from these services are FREE (standard text message rates from your provider may apply depending on your individual plan).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cooling Centers in St. Helens, Scappoose

For those in need of a way to beat the heat on Wednesday and Thursday, there are cooling centers open in the following areas (times open follow):

St. Helens:

St. Helens Senior Center, 375 South 15 Street: 9 AM-3 PM

Scappoose:

Rose Valley Assisted Living, 33800 Frederick: 10 AM-4 PM
Scappoose Senior Center, 33342 Meadow Drive: 10 AM-4 PM

Please bring your own food and drink as these centers are only providing cooled shelter from the heat of the day.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Heat Advisory for Columbia County

The National Weather Service in Portland has issued a heat advisory for Columbia County starting at 10 AM on Wednesday, June 7 and ending at 9 PM on Thursday, June 8th. Temperatures are expected to be in the middle to high 90s during the day and drop only into the 50s and lower 60s overnight.

Drink plenty of fluids. Try to stay in the shade and watch for heat exhaustion if working outdoors. Check on relatives and neighbors, especially those without air conditioning.

For more information, go to:

http://www.weather.gov/portland

Dealing with Household Hazardous Materials

Focus on Fire Safety: Residential Hazardous Materials Safety

Residential hazardous materials (hazmat) safety is important in preventing fires in and around your home. Hazmat safety involves the proper handling and storage of combustibles and flammable liquids such as gasoline, kerosene, propane, oil, aerosols, certain household cleaning products, and painting supplies.

Read more at:

http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/focus/hazmats.shtm

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Emergency Management Furlough Days

Emergency Management, along with most other Columbia County offices, will be closed the following days for cost-cutting furlough:

* Friday, July 2, 2010
* Friday, August 20, 2010
* Friday, November 12, 2010
* Thursday, December 23, 2010

We will be able to respond to major emergency requests, but routine business will not occur on these days. If you have questions, please call us at 503-366-3931 or e-mail us at emergency.management@co.columbia.or.us .

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Job Posting: Administrator, Columbia 911

Administrator for Columbia 911 Communications District--application period closes August 31, 2010.

For position and application info, go to www.esci.us .

Monday, June 28, 2010

Oil Spill Response Exercise Tuesday Near Kalama

Private spill response boats and recovery vessels will be deploying oil boom barriers and tracking buoys and other gear in a test of their ability to quickly deploy equipment in the event of an actual oil spill.

No oil will be used for Tuesday's exercise.

The Washington Department of Ecology will test how well several state-regulated companies can implement their oil spill preparedness plans, including coordinating actions and quickly mobilizing equipment to effectively respond to an oil spill.

This planned drill is being conducted by the Marine Spill Response Corp., a private, nonprofit contractor providing oil-spill response services for 20 companies in Washington.

The Columbia River is a particularly challenging location for the exercise. Shifting sediments can make navigation tricky and participants may have to work in swiftly moving water. Oil tankers, fuel barges, and large cargo vessels make more than 2,300 transits a year in the Columbia River

Source: The Daily News (http://tdn.com/news/local/article_545bfd1c-8282-11df-ab07-001cc4c002e0.html)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Aircraft to Make Low-level Flights Over Parts of Washington and Oregon

Aircraft to Make Low-level Flights Over Parts of Washington and Oregon

Washington and Oregon residents should not be alarmed to witness a low-flying aircraft over parts of southern Washington and northern Oregon in late-June through July.

Beginning on June 19th and lasting about six weeks, a fixed-wing aircraft monitored by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will begin collecting and recording geologic measurements over parts of Washington and Oregon.

Scientific equipment is mounted to the aircraft and is designed to map geologic structures beneath the earth. This analysis is part of an ongoing USGS federal research program to identify physical occurrences such as changes in rock types.

The aircraft is controlled by experienced pilots who are specially trained for low-level flying and is operated by Goldak Airborne Surveys, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Editor: In the public interest and in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the USGS is announcing this low-level airborne project. Your assistance in publicizing this information is appreciated.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Free Upcoming Animal Disease Response Training

Announcing a rare training opportunity sponsored by the Columbia County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Commission:

Animal Disease Response Training (AWR-206-1)
Animal Disease Response Training provides the information needed to minimize the effects of animal-centered agricultural emergencies in our community. This course focuses on best practices and safety issues including:

Biosecurity • Quarantine • Personal protective equipment

Euthanasia and disposal • Cleaning and disinfection

Date: Wednesday September 22, 2010
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Clatskanie School District Board Room, 555 Southwest Bryant Street, Clatskanie, OR 97016
Cost: Free

This training is specifically geared toward:

Law enforcement
Public health officials
Public works personnel
Agriculture producers and workers
Veterinarian and animal health care providers
Emergency medical services personnel
Emergency management
Elected officials
Firefighters

There will be a break for lunch. You may bring your own lunch or dine locally.
We are working to secure DPSST and Veterinary CEU credit for this course.

Register online at

www.AgPreparedness.org

Click “Register Now”

Friday, June 18, 2010

Murphy of Oregon EM Now FEMA Reg. Admin.

FEMA Administrator Fugate Applauds President Obama's Appointment Of Kenneth Murphy As Regional Administrator
Release Date: June 17, 2010
Release Number: HQ-10-119



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate today applauded President Obama's appointment of Kenneth Dean Murphy as FEMA Regional Administrator for Region X, which encompasses Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

"Regional Administrators are crucial to our ability to respond effectively to emergencies based on the needs of the communities we serve," said Fugate. "Kenneth Murphy is an experienced emergency manager who knows the Northwest well and is uniquely qualified to lead our efforts there."

Murphy has served with Oregon Emergency Management since 1999, most recently as the agency's Director. In that role, he was responsible for coordinating preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation activities with state and local emergency services agencies. He also served on the Oregon Homeland Security Council, Oregon's State Interoperability Executive Council, the Governor's Search and Rescue Policy Commission, and the Governor's Recovery Cabinet, as well as FEMA's National Advisory Council.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

High Columbia River Levels

The Columbia River has been higher than normal as the USACE is letting water out of the dams upstream. There shouldn't be anything to worry about, although the current will be swift and more debris may be in the water. It is expected to crest about 1.5 feet short of minor flood stage at Longview/Rainier. Please let us know if you have questions.

For more information, go to http://weather.gov/portland .
Thanks,

Columbia County Emergency Management
503-366-3931
emergency.management@co.columbia.or.us