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Early morning snow is visible on Main Street (February 24, 2018). My Ferndale News webcam

Extreme winter weather preparations underway

Whatcom County Division of Emergency Management Deputy Director John Gargett released the following on Friday.

Sunday and Sunday night will bring a cold front out of the Fraser Valley. The northern part of the county will get gusts 40 mph or higher. Steadily falling temperatures combined with chances of snow (1-4” possible by some forecasts for the lowlands) and strong winds add up to potentially a hazardous and dangerous situation.  Blizzard-like conditions could develop if it snows with snow drifting possible. Wind chills will be in the single digits with sub-zero temperatures possible, especially in the north county.

Beginning Sunday night, January 12th, additional nighttime shelters for people experiencing homelessness will open due to severe cold and the possibility of snow. Severe weather shelters will continue to operate for multiple evenings while temperatures remain low.

The following severe weather shelters will be open according to an announcement Friday, January 10th, from the Whatcom County Health Department and City of Bellingham.

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  • Seventh Day Adventist Adult Shelter: The Seventh Day Adventist Church located at 5321 Waschke Road in North Bellingham will open a shelter for adults beginning Monday, January 13th. Additional details about this shelter location will be available on Monday, January 13th through the Emergency Winter Shelter Hotline at (360) 788-7983.​​​​
  • Family Shelter:  Garden St. United Methodist Church will be offering space for families with children to stay the night. To check in before 4pm on a weekday, visit the Opportunity Council at 1111 Cornwall Avenue. To check in after hours or on a weekend, call (360) 593-7500 to find out if space is available.
  • CTK Adult Men’s Shelter: Christ the King Church (CTK) will operate a shelter for adult men on January 12th, 13th, and 14th. Guests must check in for this shelter by 6:30pm at the “Jubilee Station” located near the Lighthouse Mission at 1012 W Holly Street. Guests will be transported to the shelter, located at CTK’s Norway Hall.
  • FCC Adult Shelter: Fountain Community Church (FCC) will open a severe weather shelter for adults on Wednesday, January 15th. Guests must check in for this shelter by 6:30pm at the “Jubilee Station” located near the Lighthouse Mission at 1012 W Holly Street. Guests will be transported to the shelter.

The need for severe weather shelters to operate after Wednesday night will be based on updated forecasts.

Gargett also noted in his announcement people near beach property need to be alert.

The National Weather Service has issued a Coastal flood Advisory for Whatcom County for Saturday morning. Coastal communities in Whatcom County may see tidal effects around 0700 Saturday morning. The high tide, including storm surge should be just above 11’.  Winds on the coast for Saturday morning are forecast to be light and from the East so we should not have any major impacts from this King Tide. Drivers and persons on the beach should be cautious along low lying coastal roads and beaches particularly in Birch Bay, Blaine, Sandy Point, Lummi Island and Point Roberts areas. 

City of Ferndale Public Works staff are on standby waiting to get the call according to Supervisor Bo Westford. The have 4 trucks equipped with plow attachments and road sand has been prepared and is ready to be spread. Unfortunately, Westford said, they have not been able to apply de-icing solution to main roads since it is ineffective when applied when roads are wet or wet before the snow arrives. Crews are prepared to roll out tomorrow as soon as frozen precipitation starts sticking on the roadways according to Westford.

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Answers to questions about which roads in Ferndale are plowed and when can be answered on the City of Ferndale’s snow and ice control information page. Whatcom County also provides a map and an explanation online about what roads outside the city limits are plowed and when.

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