Pacific Northwest

WA - 12-foot king tide causes flooding over south Birch Bay Drive, shoreline erosion in Drayton Harbor

King tide, storm pressure and 2-4 foot waves caused flooding in south Birch Bay January 7 that left The Bridge Community Hope Center building with a foot of standing water to drain.

John Gargett, emergency management director for Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO), said the combination of an expected 10-foot king tide and storm surge pushed the tide up to 12 feet last Friday. With the addition of 2-4 foot waves and 40 mph winds, residents on south Birch Bay Drive experienced damage from flooding and thrown beach debris, he said.

Emergency management crews closed Birch Bay Drive from Alderson Road through Birch Bay State Park as water broke over the seawall on the south side of the bay and backed up Terrell Creek, flooding the area.

Rosemary Connors of The Bridge Community Hope Center, at 4815 Alderson Road, said in an email to The Northern Light that 12 inches of water poured into the building last Friday, interrupting the Bridge’s food distribution. North Whatcom Fire and Rescue firefighters assisted volunteers in draining the building. Connors said this is the fourth flood the building has experienced in the past 12 months.

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