December 26, 2018 Willapa Harbor Herald

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Willapa Harbor Herald

The only newspaper in north Pacific County with a website. Posting for over 12 years.

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Willapa Harbor Herald $1.00 Vol. 40, Issue 52

USPS 455960

December 26, 2018

Your Independent Community News Since 1890

Was that a tornado? Water here, water there, water everywhere By Jeff Clemens Blustery winds swept through downtown Raymond on Tuesday, December 18, sent debris flying and burst open the front doors at several businesses. A series of thunderstorms passed through the area during the day with little warning. One of the storms turned the downtown area into what many have said to be like a “washing machine.” During one of the thunderstorms, the area of 4th Street and Duryea became overly dark before a strong circulation began over buildings. Employees inside the Herald offices and surrounding business peeked outside to see swirling winds throwing rain and debris that appeared to be sideways. What did everyone see? It wasn’t until the morning of Wednesday, December 19 that word started trickling around the area that maybe Raymond had seen something extraordinary. Numerous accounts were heard of people seeing a circulation above businesses in the city along with

strong winds coming from all directions. But nobody really knew what had or hadn’t happened. The questions remained, what did? The Herald reached out to Pacific County Emergency Management Agency Director Scott McDougall about what people had seen. He found the information to be extremely intriguing and felt he needed to reach out to the National Weather Service in Portland about it. He informed the Herald that they may want to speak to a staff member about what they saw for their records. Meteorologist Tyree Wilde ended up calling the newsroom about an hour later to hear details on what was experienced and if any damage had been reported. He was informed that several businesses had also seen the event and all reported to have seen “circulating winds and heavy rain.” According to Wilde, it was highly likely from their radar and information along with witness accounts that Raymond indeed had developed a funnel cloud. “It sounds like you had an event forming,” Wilde said.

Photo by Jeff Clemens A True Value semi-truck pushes its way through several feet of water near the Raymond Valley View Clinic. The semi made it through but others weren't so fortunate.

Drivers learn the hard way about flood waters

By Jeff Clemens No, you weren’t seeing things, there was indeed a kayak paddling down US See Tornado Page 5 101 near Valley View in

McClain and Souvenir sworn in

Raymond on Thursday, December 20. Flood water inundated the area in several feet of water for just over three hours before finally receding in the early afternoon.

Earlier than expected The Willapa River wasn’t expected to flood before high tide that was due at 11:03 a.m. The river, on the other hand, had a different plan and started spilling over its banks just after 10:00 a.m. A strong wind storm pummelled the coast and entire county early Thursday morning with strong winds and a lot of rain. The wind pushed water inland from the ocean and created what's called a tidal anomaly. Forecasters had predicted the anomaly would be between 1-1.5 feet above the expected high tide of 11’6”. Early predictions assumed the river wouldn’t flood until around high tide and would quickly recede. TravPhoto by Jeff Clemens elers that commuted through Mark McClain (pictured left) who was elected to his second term as Pacific County Prosecutor poses the area found out the hard with newly elected Sheriff Robin Souvenir (middle) and outgoing Superior Court Judge Douglas Goelz way after approximately who is retiring at the end of the year.

Semi pulling Semi 1.5 feet of water covered makes the situation worse US 101. The situation at the scene Cars and flood waters of the flood only got worse after a semi that was towing don’t mix As the flood water began another semi with a chain to rise and cover US 101 had the chain break. The many travelers scrambled to Herald and Willapa Harbor get through the area before Drone were taking pictures the water got too high. Many near the entrance to The made the journey through, Barge Restaurant when the but two cars found them- towing semi slowed causing selves dead in the water. the towed semi to slam on its A silver Ford Focus hit the breaks. The tension of the water at an unsafe speed that chain caused it to snap from sent water over its hood and the towing semi’s trailer and windshield which caused sent it whirling around. According to the drivers the car to come to an imof the two semis, the semi mediate stop. Another car attempted being towed ran out of dieto make the short but deep sel fuel and was being towed track from Valley Views to a fueling station. The towparking lot to the Thriftway ing semi had to drive from parking lot but only made it the scene with its trailer about 15 feet into the water twice to get equipment to rebefore the engine died. Two pair the broken down semi. men were observed pushing The incident caused both the car in knee deep water to northbound US 101 lanes to high ground. The Focus sat be blocked for close to two in the water in the middle hours. Travelers trying to of US 101 for just over an make it through the floods hour before a white Chevy had to use the southbound truck came to the rescue and lanes to sneak by as the towed the disabled car to the flood waters begon to cover those lanes. Willapa River Bridge. See Flood Page 5

Opinions split in the Raymond City Council over Ordinance 1883 By Jeff Clemens The Raymond City Council told the Planning Commission to go back to the drawing board with Ordinance 1883 that sought to change the laws surrounding RV parks and campgrounds. The council first heard about the ordinance during their Monday, December 3 council meeting when it was first read and passed onto a second reading. The ordinance garnered heavy opposition from several council members who disagreed with several aspects of the rules within it.

Recap Mayor Tony Nordin and Public Works Director Eric Weiberg found themselves the brunt of questioning on December 3 when Council Members Chris Halpin and Kaley Hanson wanted some questions answered and voiced their displeasure with how it was vaguely written. Weiberg addressed both and it was learned he was a co-writer of the ordinance. The ordinance would impose a time limit of 90 days for RV's and 14 days for tent campers. It also set some standards for park appearance and requirements for a

detailed log of check ins and outs. Anyone staying beyond the time frame could be fined along with the park/ campground. Council Member Pam Nogueira Maneman also chimed into the discussion and expressed her concerns with imposing a time limit and the effects it could potentially cause some residents who stay at RV parks long term as means of having a place to stay. The ordinance passed and was set for a second reading at the last council meeting of the year on December 17. See raymond Page 7

Turner gets 14-year sentence Seniors carry South Bend to squelching of Pe Ell 56-29 SOUTH BEND - Joshua Andrew Turner, 27, of Coos Bay, Oregon, was sentenced to nearly 14 years (166 months) in prison for his participation in a March 3 Nemah robbery. Turner pled guilty to robbery in the first degree, burglary in the first degree, kidnapping in the first degree, theft of a firearm, and first degree theft with a firearm sentencing enhancement. “Mr. Turner received a longer sentence than his codefendant because he did not initially accept responsibility for his conduct, something that is significant for this office,” Pacific County Prosecutor Mark McClain told the Herald. Sincer-A Marie Nerton, Turner’s 19-year-old girlfriend, and the granddaughter of the victim, pled guilty shortly after being apprehended and received a 130month sentence. “Taking responsibility for your conduct and having

the victim’s agreement to the resolution are of meaningful to this office,” McClain added. McClain further praised the work of the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office, and, in particular, Detective Ryan Tully, who, according to McClain, “tirelessly worked on this case and had the foresight (to) quickly involve the Coos County Sheriff’s Department, (the) Bandon Police Department, and the State Patrol, which allowed us to have crucial evidence tying these defendant’s to the crime. Detective Tully said, “Without the immediate assistance of these agencies Nerton and Turner would not have been pursued as relentlessly as they were and timely captured.” Evidence located on Turner and in his vehicle implicated both in the March 3, 2018 armed robbery of Nerton’s grandmother’s home. Nerton and Turner,

who had been living with the victim in the month preceding the robbery, fired several shots into the side of the home, then entered and held three residents of the home at gunpoint. Nerton and Turner then took property they claimed had been theirs, which was now in the possession of the victims, but also took the victim’s cell phones and firearms, which were in the home before fleeing. Nerton had agreed to testify against her boyfriend and told authorities that she and Turner had been using methamphetamine for several days leading up to the robbery and while committing the offense, something confirmed by the victims. Both Nerton and Turner were required to complete drug treatment while in prison and will be under supervision by the Department of Corrections for three years after their release.

By GEORGE KUNKE SOUTH BEND - Led by its seniors, South Bend got it's offense revved up in the second to pull away from Pe Ell before a crowd of about 200 Wednesday night at Koplitz Field House. The Lady Indians prevailed in the Pacific League game 56-29 behind the scoring and stealing of the ball of Jessica Sanchez and the double-double of Karely Reidinger. Reidinger scored 18 close-range points and snared 10 rebounds and Sanchez fired in a game-high 19 points, stole the ball 6 times and assisted on 5 of teammates' baskets. Hannah Byington scored 9 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. See South Bend Page 7

Photo by Sally Kunke South Bend HS senior Karley Reidinger battles for a loose ball Wednesday night against Pe Ell at Koplitz Field House. Reidinger scored 18 points.