Emergency

Saturday, January 15, 2022

SECOND UPDATE: Tsunami Advisory is Now Lifted (with Video)

Posted By on Sat, Jan 15, 2022 at 6:13 PM

SECOND UPDATE:

The tsunami advisory for Humboldt County has been lifted.

UPDATE:

The tsunami advisory remains in place for Humboldt County due to last night's volcanic explosion near the Tonga Islands.

“For your safety, stay away from beaches and low-lying coastal areas until emergency officials indicate it is safe. DO NOT GO TO THE SHORE TO VIEW THE TSUNAMI. Hazardous waves may continue for several hours.,” a 10 a.m. update from the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services states.

The Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group reports that the peak height at Crescent City recorded so far (as of about 10 a.m.) was 20 inches and just under 3 feet at Arena Cove. View the Crescent City Harbor cam here.

"The tsunami advisory is still in place and everyone needs to stay off the beach, perhaps for the rest of the day," the group's post states.
According to a city of Eureka news release, after receiving notification of the advisory, staff went to the Eureka Boat Basin in the early morning hours to notify residents living on their boats and advised them to leave. People found camping in their vehicles at the Samoa Boat ramp or other harbor areas were also notified, the release states.

"All docks and ramps were closed and are expected to remain closed until an 'all clear' advisory is issued," the city's release states. "A slight surge was noticed in the harbor area around 8 a.m .and staff continues to monitor the area for additional surges. Surges which could be dangerous can happen many hours after the first wave arrival. The first tsunami wave or surge may not be the highest in the series."
271940272_293386439490016_9066507912362307808_n.jpg

PREVIOUSLY:

The National Weather Service has issued a tsunami advisory for the West Coast due to seismic activity near Tonga last night. While no evacuation is called for, an alert message from the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services warns local residents to "stay away from beaches and low lying coastal areas, avoid boating and fishing for the next several hours."

According to the National Weather Service's Eureka office's Facebook page, waves may reach heights of 1 to 3 feet, and "strong rip currents and coastal flooding" are expected.

The Redwood Coast Tsunami Working Group reports the tsunami surge locally is “modest” but arriving near high tide with high surg.

“Do not go to the coast to watch,” the group warns on its Facebook page. “You are unlikely to see anything of interest but the combination of storm waves and tsunamis could cause sudden unexpected surges along the beach.”
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Wednesday, January 12, 2022

EPD Releases Name of Officer in Police Shooting; Suspect Returned to Humboldt

Posted By on Wed, Jan 12, 2022 at 12:19 PM

Officers stage amid a search for an outstanding suspect in Eureka. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Officers stage amid a search for an outstanding suspect in Eureka.
The Eureka Police Department today identified the sole officer who shot a suspect Dec. 30 during a multi-agency team operation to arrest a man wanted on suspicion of attempt robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, revocation of parole, burglary and reckless evasion.

The suspected, Little Eagle Moon, 29, of Hoopa, was shot in the hand and arm by two of the six rounds fired by EPD detective Joseph Couch after he reportedly began ramming law enforcement vehicles and driving toward officers who were trying to apprehend him at Third and T streets in Eureka.

All six of the shots hit either Moon, who then allegedly fled in the vehicle and caused a crash at Fifth and V streets before fleeing on foot into greenbelt, where he was ultimately taken into custody, or his vehicle. Two others with Moon were not injured.

Another officer fired a less-than-lethal shotgun, according to the release.

EPD policy states that an officer should only fire at a moving vehicle or its occupants if they believe “there are no other reasonable means available to avert the imminent threat of the vehicle, or if deadly force other than the vehicle is directed at the officer or others” or in the case of a terrorist attack.

Moon, who was initially treated at St. Joseph before being transferred out of the area, was booked into the Humboldt County jail today on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer and parole violation but is expected to face more charges, according to the EPD release.

Couch was at the scene as part of the operation to apprehend Moon. He has been with the EPD for five years and is part of the Problem Oriented Policing Team and the county’s SWAT team.

He was placed on administrative leave but has been cleared to return to full duty Jan. 7 following “a review of the investigation as it stands at this point, interviews, and a critical incident debrief,” according to EPD.

The investigation remains ongoing.

The press release says video footage of the incident was captured on body worn cameras and the department will release it according to state law, which requires it be made public as soon as it doing so won't jeopardize the investigation and not later than 45 days after the shooting, absent extraordinary circumstances.

Read the EPD update below:

The Humboldt County Multi-Agency Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) is continuing to investigate the officer involved shooting that occurred on December 30, 2021.

This is an ongoing, active investigation, and information is being released in a manner that allows us to maintain the integrity of the investigation as it is prepared and presented to the District Attorney’s office for prosecution. Additional information will be released as it becomes available and authorized by law. The following updated information is being released at this time: The investigation has revealed that there was only one officer who fired their service weapon during the incident.

The involved officer is identified as Eureka Police Detective Joseph Couch. Detective Couch has been with EPD for 5 years and is assigned to EPD’s Problem Oriented Policing Team (POP) and is a member of the Humboldt County SWAT team. Detective Couch was assigned to the operation to apprehend Moon. During the incident Detective Couch fired six (6) rounds from his patrol rifle at Moon, who was in the driver’s seat of his vehicle. All six (6) rounds struck Moon’s vehicle. At this point in the investigation it appears two (2) of those rounds struck Moon in his hand and arm. There were two other occupants in Moon’s vehicle at the time of the incident and they were not injured.

A less lethal bean bag shotgun was also deployed and discharged during the incident by a member of another agency. Moon was initially transported to St. Joseph Hospital for treatment then transferred to an out of county medical facility. On Thursday, January 6 th, Moon was booked by EPD officers into an out of county correctional facility on his warrant for Attempted Murder of a Peace Officer and Parole Violation.

On Tuesday, January 12th, Moon was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. It is expected additional charges will be added once the investigation is completed. As is standard protocol, Detective Couch was placed on temporary paid administrative leave on December 31, 2021.

 Following a review of the investigation as it stands at this point, interviews, and a critical incident debrief, Detective Couch was cleared to return to full duty effective January 7, 2022. Pursuant to California Government Code §6254(f)(4), modified by Assembly Bill (AB 748), video and/or audio recordings depicting the discharge of a firearm at a person by a peace officer or custodial officer shall be made public within 45 days of the event by the agency provided the release would not significantly interfere with a criminal or administrative investigation. Detective Couch was wearing his body worn camera, which captured the shooting, and this video will be released in accordance with the above law. ###

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Deputy Saves Man Overdosing on Fentanyl

Posted By on Wed, Jan 12, 2022 at 10:18 AM

A Humboldt County Sheriff's Office deputy saved a man who was overdosing on fentanyl early this morning after finding him unconscious on Broadway and administering two doses of Narcan.

According to a HCSO release, the deputy observed the man around 1:20 a.m. in the south Eureka area. In addition to giving the Narcan, the deputy also performed CPR and was able to successfully revive the man who was taken to the hospital for further treatment.

Overdoses on the potent opioid, which is 50 times stronger than heroin, are on the rise in Humboldt County, the sheriff's office states, accounting for 10 percent of all deaths recorded by the coroner's office in 2021.

The 33 fentanyl-related deaths recorded last year were up from 11 in 2020, the release notes.


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Monday, January 10, 2022

Eureka Woman Killed in Motorcycle Crash

Posted By on Mon, Jan 10, 2022 at 11:36 AM

A 37-year-old Eureka woman was killed last night when she apparently lost control of her motorcycle on northbound U.S. Highway 101 just past the Slough Bridge and struck a sign in the median.

Samantha Barney died at the scene, according to the Eureka Police Department, despite emergency efforts. No other vehicles were involved in the crash that occurred at 5:19 p.m. It remains under investigation.

Read the EPD release below:
On January 9, 2022, at about 5:19 p.m., officers with the Eureka Police Department responded to northbound Highway 101, just north of the Slough Bridge, for the report of a major injury collision involving a single motorcycle. Humboldt Bay Fire and City Ambulance provided emergency medical care on scene; however, due to the extent of the injuries the motorcyclist was pronounced deceased. Next of kin has been notified and the motorcyclist has been identified as 37-year-old Samantha Barney of Eureka. Based on the initial investigation, it appears Barney was driving her motorcycle on northbound Highway 101 when she lost control and struck a sign in the grassy center median. No other vehicles were involved. At this time it is unknown if drugs or alcohol played a factor in the collision.
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Thursday, January 6, 2022

Sheriff's Office Investigating Alderpoint Homicide

Posted By on Thu, Jan 6, 2022 at 5:41 PM

One man has been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the death of another man who was found outside a residence on the 100 block of Sixth Street in Alderpoint with what appeared to be a gunshot wound just before 5 a.m. today.


“While investigating, the sheriff’s office received information that a vehicle possibly associated with the incident had been involved in a traffic collision on Highway 36 near Buck Mountain, and California Highway Patrol Officers had located and detained two individuals associated with the vehicle,” a news release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office states.


The driver, Jake Henry Combs, 29, was arrested. The name of the man who died is currently being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The case remains under investigation and the HCSO release states there is “no perceived threat to the community at this time.”


Anyone with information is asked to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.


Read the HCSO release below:


On Jan. 6, 2022, at about 4:55 a.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence on the 100 block of 6th Street in Alderpoint for the report of a gunshot victim.


Deputies arrived in the area and located a deceased adult male with what appeared to be a gunshot wound. While investigating, the Sheriff’s Office received information that a vehicle possibly associated with the incident had been involved in a traffic collision on Highway 36 near Buck Mountain, and California Highway Patrol Officers had located and detained two individuals associated with the vehicle.


Upon further investigation, the driver of the vehicle, 29-year-old Jake Henry Combs, was determined to be the suspect responsible for the victim’s death. Combs was arrested and is being booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of murder (PC 187(A)).


This case is still under investigation. There is no perceived threat to the community at this time.


The victim’s identity is being withheld pending next of kin notification. An autopsy is in the process of being scheduled.


Anyone with information about this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.


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UPDATE: No Sign of Hunter Lewis Found During Dive Search

Posted By on Thu, Jan 6, 2022 at 1:17 PM

Hunter Nathaniel Lewis - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Hunter Nathaniel Lewis

UPDATE:

According to the Search for Hunter Lewis Facebook page, no debris field or signs of Hunter Lewis were found during today’s dive search at Flatiron Rock.

“Thank you to the divers and all the agencies that made it possible today for the search to happen,” the post states. “We will be continuing the search on beaches and asking for everyone to continue to be safe while searching.”

PREVIOUS:

The search for Hunter Lewis, a college student from Blue Lake who went missing after launching his family’s canoe from a Trinidad Beach on Dec. 30, is continuing today with dive teams from Humboldt Bay Fire conducting underwater surveys in the Flatiron Rock area.

The area was selected based on information relayed by friends and family members and items found by community members who have continued to scour the local shoreline for signs of the 21 year old after an extensive multi-agency search was suspended after sundown Dec. 31.

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office states in a Facebook post that the search crews are taking advantage of a “small window of decent weather conditions to conduct dive efforts.”

Lewis is believed to have entered the ocean in his 15-feet green fiberglass canoe between 10 a.m. and noon Dec. 30 and hasn’t been seen since. Half of Lewis’ canoe was found north of Elk Head and other items have been found in the Trinidad area.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, California State Parks and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are assisting in today’s search.


Read the Humboldt Bay Fire release below:
At about 7:30a.m. on Thursday, January 6, 2022 the Humboldt Bay Fire Dive Rescue & Recovery Team (HBF DRRT) joined the ongoing search for missing canoer Hunter Lewis.

Hunter was reported missing on Thursday, December 30, 2021, after he failed to return home from recreating in Trinidad. Hunter is believed to have entered the ocean in his canoe near Trinidad Harbor that morning.

The HBF DRRT began coordinating the underwater search this week based on new information from the family regarding Hunter’s last known destination. Due to the exceptionally high surf, tidal swings, and winds that have been present since Hunter went missing and the oncoming storm surge expected Thursday evening, the team predicted a narrow window this morning where conditions would allow for a dive.

The HBF DRRT partnered with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, California State Parks and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to conduct today’s search.

Resources used in the search included multiple boats, a sidescan and a deep-water sonar, lifeguards, divers, and a HBF rescue swimmer. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office also provided scene security to ensure the privacy of involved family. The team concluded their search by 1 p.m.

Unfortunately, they did not find any signs of Hunter nor any of his belongings. At this time, we are asking the public to leave aquatic search efforts to the professional rescuers. The area in which Hunter went missing is extremely hazardous given the current weather conditions and may likely endanger the health and safety of well-meaning searchers.

The Sheriff’s Office will continue to monitor local beaches for signs of Hunter or his belongings. Anyone with information regarding Hunter’s current or possible whereabouts is urged to contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445- 7251.
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Wednesday, January 5, 2022

HDNL to Temporarily Ban Spectators as COVID Cases Surge

Posted By on Wed, Jan 5, 2022 at 4:51 PM

Fortuna High School Husky guard Teal Msotovoy whips the ball to teammate Kylee Fennell in a game earlier this year. - JOSE QUEZADA
  • Jose Quezada
  • Fortuna High School Husky guard Teal Msotovoy whips the ball to teammate Kylee Fennell in a game earlier this year.

The Humboldt-Del Norte League has voted to temporarily bar spectators from attending games amid a local surge in COVID-19 cases fueled by the highly contagious Omicron variant, Commissioner Jake Lakin announced Jan. 5.

“The number of positive tests being reported from local school districts and recent updates from Humboldt County Public Health (188 new COVID cases in the Jan. 4 press release) indicate this is likely the beginning of a surge,” Lakin wrote in an email announcing the temporary no-spectators mandate, which will be in place from Jan. 7 through Jan. 23. “Given this information, the league took this action in an attempt to slow down and possibly minimize the spread of COVID in both our school and local communities. Additionally, this decision was approved by a majority of the HDNL districts as an effort to preserve on-site in-person instruction for students as well as preserving the opportunity to compete for our student-athletes.”

The decision came after Humboldt County Public Health confirmed 674 COVID-19 cases over the course of six days while reporting the highly contagious Omicron variant had been determined to be circulating locally.

Lakin said the league will continue to monitor local data and conditions and re-evaluate the policy in the coming days and weeks. He added that most HDNL events can be viewed online and urged people to contact their local schools to get information on how to view remotely.

“The League understands the disappointment that comes with this announcement, but given the circumstances, it appreciates your understanding, patience and cooperation,” Lakin wrote.

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Sunday, January 2, 2022

Community Members Set to Continue Search for Missing Man

Posted By on Sun, Jan 2, 2022 at 10:02 AM

Hunter Nathaniel Lewis - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Hunter Nathaniel Lewis
The search for a missing Blue Lake man is set to continue this morning, with organizers asking community members to meet at 11 a.m. at the Seascape Restaurant parking lot, where they will be assigned search areas.

Hunter Nathaniel Lewis is believed to have entered the ocean in his 15-feet green fiberglass canoe between 10 a.m. and noon Dec. 30 and hasn’t been seen since. His father posted to Facebook yesterday that half his son’s canoe had been found north of Elk Head, and today’s efforts are expected to focus on that area.

A multi-agency search for the 21-year-old launched Dec. 30 and crews worked through the night to locate him, but the U.S. Coast Guard suspended its active search efforts after sun down Dec. 31. The agency said it had methodically searched more than 1,000 nautical miles of water but had found “no sign of the man or his canoe or equipment.” It’s unclear if the discovery of Nathaniel Lewis’ canoe yesterday will prompt the Coast Guard or other agencies to re-engage.

An especially high tide is forecast to peak at 10:15 a.m. today, and gale force winds are possible later in the day, so searchers are urged to use extra caution around the water. According to a Facebook group set up to help coordinate the search, it looks like part of the focus of today’s search will be getting access to private properties along Stage Coach Road, north of Trinidad.

We’ll update this post with additional information as we can.
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Friday, December 31, 2021

UPDATE: Search and Rescue Effort's Focus Shifts to North of Elk Head

Posted By on Fri, Dec 31, 2021 at 3:47 PM

Hunter Nathaniel Lewis - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Hunter Nathaniel Lewis
UPDATE:
Part of a missing 21-year-old Blue Lake man’s canoe was found today on the shoreline north of Elk Head, according to a Facebook post by his father.

Hunter Nathaniel Lewis is believed to have entered the ocean with his canoe in Trinidad Harbor between 10 a.m. and noon Dec. 30 and hasn’t been seen since. Corey Lewis posted to Facebook earlier today that due to the discover of half his son’s canoe, the multi-agency search effort’s focus was shifting to the area north of Elk Head.

Anyone who saw Lewis in the Trinidad area yesterday or has any information regarding his current whereabouts is asked to contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251.

PREVIOUSLY:
The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office has launched a search and rescue effort for a 21-year-old Blue Lake man after he failed to return from the Trinidad area yesterday afternoon.

Officials believe Hunter Nathaniel Lewis may have entered the ocean in his canoe near Trinidad Harbor sometime between 10 a.m. and noon yesterday. A search of the harbor and surrounding areas was conducted through the night and continues today.

Multiple agencies are aiding the search, including the Sheriff's Search and Rescue Posse, the U.S. Coast Guard and California State Parks, with a Coast Guard helicopter and boats also assisting. Hunter Lewis is described as a white male, standing approximately 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 135 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. He is believed to be wearing a dark-colored wetsuit and his canoe is described as being 15 feet long with a green exterior and made of fiberglass.

Anyone who saw Lewis in the Trinidad area yesterday or has any information regarding his current whereabouts is asked to contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251.

See the full press release below:


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Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Storm Roundup: One-way Traffic on 299, Thousands without Power, 96 Still Closed

Posted By on Wed, Dec 29, 2021 at 10:11 AM

A scene of downed trees on State Route 299 Monday. - CALTRANS
  • Caltrans
  • A scene of downed trees on State Route 299 Monday.
While State Route 299 reopened last night, Caltrans reports there will be sections of one-way traffic between Blue Lake and Willow Creek as crews continues to work to restore power and tackle downed trees.

State Route 96 remains closed to all but emergency vehicles and local traffic due to downed lines and trees.

Officials are again asking those who don’t need to travel to stay home and those who venture out should avoid parking on the side of the highway for the safety of crews out working.


Sheriff William Honsal declared a local emergency Monday night due to the winter storm, which has created life-threatening conditions in some areas and caused damaged across the county. The declaration will allow the county to apply for state and federal funding. 

Thousands still remain without power from Hoopa to Southern Humboldt as another round of cold temperatures is in the forecast tonight, with inland temperatures in the teens and 20s, according to the National Weather Service.

For the latest road information, visit QuickMap.dot.ca.gov (or the QuickMap app).

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