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Big Waves, Flooding Batter Oregon And Washington Coasts


A coastal flood warning is in effect along the entire Pacific coast for Oregon and Washington.

The National Weather Service said Thursday very large waves are pounding the coast, some reaching heights up to 35 feet.

Weather officials are warning people to stay off coastal beaches, especially in low-lying areas that are vulnerable to flooding.

“Structures and roads located immediately at beach level will likely be inundated by waves and damaged by debris,” said David Bishop, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “Many beaches, jetties and rocky outcroppings will be covered by deep water with possible beach erosion.

One woman in Oregon was reportedly injured after being struck by debris in a wave in Lincoln City. The Coast Guard is also assisting a search for a man who was reportedly swept into the ocean north of Depoe Bay. 

In Washington, businesses and residents in Grays Harbor County were beginning to see early signs of flooding and erosion.

“It’s like taking a steam shovel and pulling sand away from the beach,” said Chuck Wallace, deputy director of emergency management in Grays Harbor. “Erosion is tremendous from these types of events.”

Wallace toured the coast this afternoon to survey areas prone to flooding, like Westport and Ocean Shores. He said the big waves always bring out onlookers, and he cautioned them to stay safe.

“It’s beautiful to watch from afar,” said Wallace. “But use extreme caution. The waves can easily sweep someone out to sea.”

All port entrances from the California border to Tillamook Bay are closed to all vessel traffic, the Coast Guard said. In northern Washington, the Quillayute River entrance was also closed to all vessel traffic.

The coastal flood warning is in effect until late Thursday night.

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