Friday, February 15, 2019

Humboldt Bay Closed as Surf Pummels the Coast

Posted By on Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 12:20 PM

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The U.S. Coast Guard has closed the Humboldt Bay harbor entrance until futher notice due to the high surf.

Any vessel requesting to enter the safety zone is required to contact the Coast Guard VHF-FM channel 16 between 6:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. or to call the Humboldt Bay Sector at 839-6113 between 10 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.

The closure comes as high surf pummels the coast with breakers expected to reach heights of 25 feet. Read more about Humboldt's weather story here.
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UPDATE: Coast Guard Closes Harbor Entrance Due to High Surf, Winter Weather Continues (Video)

Posted By on Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 10:38 AM

harbor_closeure.jpg
UPDATE:

The U.S. Coast Guard has closed the Humboldt Bay harbor entrance until futher notice due to the high surf.

Any vessel requesting to enter the safety zone is required to contact the Coast Guard VHF-FM channel 16 between 6:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. or to call the Humboldt Bay Sector at 839-6113 between 10 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.

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Another winter storm warning is in effect for the region, with elevations above 2,500 feet slated to see another 10 to 20 inches of snow, according to the Eureka office of the National Weather Service.

Meanwhile, rain, hail and possible thunderstorms are forecast for the coast along with large swells expected to reach up to 25 feet by this evening, with increased “run-ups on beaches” and waves “topping and washing over large rocks and jetties.”

The weather service has issued a high surf advisory and urged mariners
“to exercise extreme caution or stay in port until the threat subsides” and to “contact the U.S. Coast Guard for information regarding harbor and bar closures.”

“These large waves will be capable of sweeping people into the frigid and turbulent ocean waters,” according to NWS. “Beachgoers need to stay farther back from the surf and off of jetties or rocks, and mariners should use extreme caution when operating near the surf zone.”

(If that's getting you down, enjoy a moment of Zen with reader Nick Jones' video capturing Humboldt's natural beauty amid the region's deep plunge into winter this week.)

For the latest weather information about specific locations, visit www.weather.gov/eureka.

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Huff to Trump: 'We'll See You in Court'

Posted By on Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 9:24 AM

Jared Huffman. - CONGRESS
  • Congress
  • Jared Huffman.
North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman joined 299 of his colleagues Thursday in voting to pass a compromise funding agreement to keep the government opened in advance of today’s deadline.

And in a press release this morning, Huffman blasted President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, calling it a “sham” and vowing: “We’ll see you in court.”

The bipartisan funding bill included $1.375 billion for border fencing — far short of the $5.7 billion the president had repeatedly demanded but enough to construct about 55 miles of border fencing. With the emergency declaration this morning, the Trump administration plans to divert $3.6 billion budgeted for military construction projects, another $2.5 billion from counter-narcotics programs and $600 million from an asset forfeiture fund. Coupled with the appropriation from Congress, that would give the president $8 billion to spend on his border wall.

But challenges loom. House Democrats plan to introduce a measure to reverse the declaration and some — like Huffman — have said they will take to the courts to block the declaration.

“I have one message to President Trump about his sham ‘national emergency’ declaration: we’ll see you in court,” Huffman said in a press release. “Trump’s last-ditch effort to secure his medieval border wall, with zero regard for the best interests of the American people or the facts, is a gross overstep and a clear violation of the rule of law. This months-long drama of his own making is clearly not an emergency, and now the courts and Congress will need to exercise checks and balances on an executive branch that is increasingly out of control.”

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Water Main Break Starts Vacation Early for Two Fortuna Schools

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2019 at 9:26 PM

FUHSD
  • FUHSD
A broken water main is forcing the closure of two Fortuna Schools tomorrow.

East High posted, “School is CANCELLED for tomorrow due to a water main break. Mr. Millsap will be at school from 9-11 tomorrow morning for anyone who wants to come pick up work to do over break.”

Fortuna Union High posted, “Attention! Both East and Fortuna High will be closed tomorrow, 2/15, because of a broken water main. There is no current running water at the school. Enjoy the week off! See you Monday, 2/25.”
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UPDATE: Eel River Forecast to Exceed Flood Stage This Afternoon

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2019 at 10:09 AM

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UPDATE:

When one road closes another opens here in Humboldt as the winter weather pattern continues.
According to the county, Ishi Pishi Road is now open without restrictions but Cannibal Island Road is “marked as flooded.”

"Prolonged periods of rain are causing flooding throughout Humboldt County," a county road update states. "Expect flooded roads especially in low lying areas."

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The Eel River at Fernbridge is expected to exceed flood stage by early this afternoon, according to the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services.

The National Weather Service’s flood watch for the region remains in effect until 4 p.m.
According to OES, the Eel River at Fernbridge is forecast to reach the 20-foot mark at 2 p.m., cresting at under 22 feet later tonight.

“Highway 211 is not anticipated to close,” an OES Tweet states. “Livestock should remain on high ground.”

For the latest weather information about specific locations, visit www.weather.gov/eureka. To monitor river conditions, visit NOAA's Calfornia Nevada River Forecast Center website here.


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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Death Investigation in Eureka Near Hikshari’ Trailhead

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 3:22 PM

EPD and Humboldt Bay Fire at the scene. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • EPD and Humboldt Bay Fire at the scene.
Law enforcement is investigating after a man was found dead after 2 p.m. today in a heavily vegetated area near the old Tallow Works not far from the Hikshari’ trailhead off Herrick Avenue in south Eureka.

Law enforcement and Humboldt Bay Fire responded to the scene and the coroner has been called.

Nothing appears suspicious at this time, according to Eureka Police CSET Sgt. Leonard LaFrance.
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North Coast Night Lights: Grandmother Rock

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 3:07 PM

Beneath the stars and the Milky Way, Grandmother Rock gazed out across the Pacific in her endless contemplation, while the stars wheeled about Polaris above. The crescent moon, invisible past the left edge of the photograph, provided some of the landscape illumination as it set into the mists, while from inside College Cove some kind of light emanated, throwing light on Pewetole Island. The bright light on the horizon was one of five or six fishing boats out at sea that evening. Occasionally they would train their powerful beams toward shore, bright enough to cast shadows. - Trinidad, Humboldt County, California. February 6, 2019. - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • Beneath the stars and the Milky Way, Grandmother Rock gazed out across the Pacific in her endless contemplation, while the stars wheeled about Polaris above. The crescent moon, invisible past the left edge of the photograph, provided some of the landscape illumination as it set into the mists, while from inside College Cove some kind of light emanated, throwing light on Pewetole Island. The bright light on the horizon was one of five or six fishing boats out at sea that evening. Occasionally they would train their powerful beams toward shore, bright enough to cast shadows. Trinidad, Humboldt County, California. February 6, 2019.
It was nearly dark when I arrived at the Trinidad Head parking area. Sunset gazers had seen the sun set some 45 minutes earlier and were heading for their cars when I struck north up the beach. Night was descending and in the waning light I could see the footprints of the evening’s activity in the sand. Low tide would be in a little over half an hour. My destination was Grandmother Rock, a huge rock in the apparent profile of a figure forever staring out to sea.

Only a faint glow remained over the western horizon, and stars were beginning to show all over the sky. The crescent moon hanging over the Pacific would set in about an hour and helped cast a delicate glow on the world. The retreating tide’s fresh sand was a faint lightness stretching out before me, and I was making the only marks in the new smoothness. Rocks and driftwood slipped by as shadows beside my soft tread. It was dark enough to tempt my flashlight but to do so would have set back my night. I continued without it.

I think about mountain lions when I’m out there at night, particularly if I’m alone. It freaks me out. But for some reason I reasoned they wouldn’t be looking for me at the beach. I’m not sure there was any reason in that at all, really, but I did note that the wind was coming from the shore, so I knew they wouldn’t smell me. I didn’t read all those Tarzan books for nothing.

I heard water ahead. I’d forgotten about the creek. I could make out its shape as I approached. Close across the stream loomed the towering form of Grandmother Rock, but I needed to cross to get the angle I wanted. Mill Creek isn’t especially large but in early February it was certainly in healthy condition and was too wide to jump across. I looked around. Maybe I could find a way over there.

Splash!

My heart slammed into my chest and I froze. The splash was close. A fish? It seemed too large. I had been walking without my light, and I saw little more than shadows as I peered toward the sound.

Splash!

It didn’t sound like a critter’s splash this time. I turned on my light, already figuring what it was: the sandy sides of the creek caving in as the stream eroded them. You know the miniature cliffs that are fun to help cave in when you’re a kid. I might still be one.

With the light on I saw that I wouldn’t be able to cross without getting wet, and there was no way to line up the shot that I wanted from this side of the creek. There were some rocks I could have used to hop across but not all by myself in the dark, carrying a camera bag, a large tripod and wearing a pack. That seemed like a bad idea easily avoided, the kind of thing one might read about in the news blogs the next day.

So I would ford the stream. I took off my shoes and socks, rolled my pants up over my knees, and waded across. This had not been in the plan. It was about 40 degrees out, and don’t tell the Midwest folks, but it felt cold. And now my feet were going to be wet and my socks were going to have sand in them and I would have to do it all again on the way back, too. Ah, photography!

I set up just on the other side of the creek.. Grandmother Rock sits atop a pile of huge rocks, the chunks of stone that Mother Nature had chiseled away from what once had been a gigantic boulder as she sculpted Grandmother’s contemplative figure.

I had one idea for a photograph in my mind for this trip: a long exposure with the north star Polaris above Grandmother’s head. In a long exposure from that angle, the trails made by the stars would create rings around her that could represent different things to different people. I also wanted Pewetole Island in the image if possible. I found a single spot that would give me that angle: it was on the steep side of a sloping boulder but from there it would all fall into line. I climbed up, wedged my tripod in and perched there next to it.
The Grandmother abides. In this much shorter exposure, the stars and other celestial objects have been stopped. Sister Galaxy Andromeda is the bright, smeared “star” near the top to the left of the Milky Way. Trinidad, Humboldt County, California. February 6, 2019. - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • The Grandmother abides. In this much shorter exposure, the stars and other celestial objects have been stopped. Sister Galaxy Andromeda is the bright, smeared “star” near the top to the left of the Milky Way. Trinidad, Humboldt County, California. February 6, 2019.
I stayed in that spot for almost an hour and tried different exposures and slightly different angles, some zoomed in, some zoomed out. The lights of half a dozen fishing boats shone across the horizon, sometimes themselves directing beams of light toward me bright enough to throw shadows. The fading moonlight and the final vestiges of dusk’s glow on the horizon cast the softest of light onto the shore.

The star trail image I’m sharing here was a 699-second exposure. The star trails you see show how far the stars moved across the sky as Earth’s globe rotated beneath me. Watching the stars turn I could feel I was on the surface of the Earth, the light of their myriad billions falling upon my face as the planet revolved beneath me.

I would have stayed longer to make more images but for a couple of considerations. One was that by then the tide had been coming in for half an hour and was beginning to send waves up the beach to the rock I was using, and the other was that I’d told my mom I’d come watch the second half of Warriors game with her. I packed up, climbed down, removed my shoes and socks, rolled up my pants, forded the creek again and headed back down the beach.

(And the Warriors won.)
This animation alternates between two frames, one long exposure in which the stars became streaks, and one shorter exposure from moments later in which they are still points. The smudgy “star” at the top to the left of the Milky Way is our sister galaxy Andromeda. - DAVID WILSON
  • David Wilson
  • This animation alternates between two frames, one long exposure in which the stars became streaks, and one shorter exposure from moments later in which they are still points. The smudgy “star” at the top to the left of the Milky Way is our sister galaxy Andromeda.

To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or peer into its past, follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx or his website mindscapefx.com, where you can also contact him, but which Wilson says he updates less frequently.
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MCSD Taps Barsanti for Board Seat

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 11:39 AM

Shel Barsanti - ELAINE WEINREB
  • Elaine Weinreb
  • Shel Barsanti
The McKinleyville Community Services District has a new board member.

Last week, the board appointed Shel Barsanti, a certified public accountant who served as auditor for two smaller community services district, to the seat that came open with the resignation of George Wheeler, who stepped down for health reasons.

In her letter of application, Barsanti said her experience “brings a knowledge and understanding of special district audit reports, accounting, finances and reporting matters” to the board.

She is also the president of the Mad River Rotary and has lived in McKinleyville since 1977.

The board used a ranked voting system to select one of the nine candidates who applied for the position. Barsanti received seven out of eight possible points, meaning that she was either the first or the second choice of each of the existing board members.


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UPDATE: Wind Gusts Could Reach 50 MPH This Afternoon, Slide Closes 36

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 9:51 AM

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UPDATE:
Caltrans has updated that State Route 36 is open to one-way controlled traffic.

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Humboldt County will continue to see rain, wind and mountain snow for the next week, according to the Eureka office of the National Weather service, which reports a forecast of “multiple rounds” of an “active and wet pattern.”

A wind advisory remains in effect for the coast today until 3 p.m. with gusts as high as 50 mph possible and the Eel River is under a flood watch from Thursday afternoon to Friday afternoon.

While unclear if it’s weather related, more than 1,200 PG&E customers in Eureka lost power this morning, according to the company’s outage page, joining hundreds of other Humboldt County residents who were also left in the dark. No cause or estimate for restoration was available as of 8:30 a.m.

To find out about outages in specific areas, visit https://m.pge.com/#outages.

Meanwhile, a rock slide has closed down State Route 36 west of Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park, according to the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Storm Update: Flood Watch for SoHum, Eel River; Wind Advisory on the Coast

Posted By on Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 7:11 PM

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The Eureka office of the National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for the Humboldt and Mendocino coasts from 8 p.m. Tuesday to 3 p.m. Wednesday as another storm system rolls through the region bringing "heavy rain, gusty winds, and mountain snow."

Flood watches are also in effect for Southern Humboldt and Mendocino County starting late tonight and continuing through Thursday afternoon and for the Eel River at Fernbridge.

The heaviest rain is forecast for tonight into Wednesday with moderate levels continuing into Thursday, which is expected to cause “rapid rises” on area rivers with some expected to reach monitor or flood stage, according to the Eureka office of the National Weather Service.

The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services reports that the Eel River is forecast to reach flood stage at Fernbridge late Thursday afternoon, but the information will continue to change over the next 24 to 48 hours.

For the latest weather information about specific locations, visit www.weather.gov/eureka. To monitor river conditions, visit NOAA's Calfornia Nevada River Forecast Center website here.


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