Winter storm totally decimates coastal town's shoreline
Birch Bay is a fairly small community in Whatcom County Washington on the Pacific Ocean coast. A short drive south of the Canada/USA boundary it attracts many visitors, mainly in the summer months. Come winter the town becomes a sleepy town but still attracts many to walk its beautiful beached in search of shells, driftwood, and to just enjoy the scenery.
December 20th, 2018 was a horrific day for Birch Bay. Blistering winds over 65 mph struck the area right at the time of high tide and low atmospheric pressure to create a tidal surge of 11.3 feet -- about 2 feet above the predicted high tide. As many as 10,000 people lost power in the immediate area, and over 300,000 lost power from this storm. Waves crashed over the roadway causing traffic chaos. One restaurant on the waterfront which had been recently renovated suffered drastically. The windows and doors were blown out from the power of the extreme waves. Furniture from the restaurant was seen flowing out the front door and across the roadway.
Police, fire rescue and the sheriff’s department traveled the area making sure everyone was safe and offered assistance when needed. As you will see in the video there has been extensive damage to the town. By Friday, Dec. 28, damage reports across Whatcom County had risen to between $4.5 million and $5 million — and that figure was expected to rise. Luckily there were no personal injuries reported. With hard work from the county and the locals, Birch Bay is surely to be back to the way it was awaiting its many visitors from far and wide come summer. Pedal tricycles, kayakers and beach goers are a huge part of the community activities once summer arrives. The town relies heavily on tourism come May and through to October. Cheers to seeing Birch Bay back as it was! Peaceful and beautiful.