Birch Bay to get tsunami warning system

The emergency management division of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office is working with the state to set up an emergency warning system for Birch Bay that would provide advance notice of tsunamis and other natural disasters.

The all-hazard alert broadcast is similar to warning sirens already in place at Sandy Point, Point Roberts and other county locations. County officials are working with the state to find suitable public locations, including areas within Birch Bay State Park and property owned by Birch Bay Water and Sewer District.

Money for the project came from a $50,000 grant to Whatcom Community Foundation from Phillips 66, which has an oil refinery near Cherry Point.

The company also provided public safety grants to the Northwest Straits Foundation ($50,000) to remove derelict fishing gear, United Way of Whatcom County ($41,000) for community health and safety issues, and to Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County ($25,000) to install and enhance security systems at its clubhouses.