New tsunami evacuation maps in Spanish will help coastal communities

New tsunami evacuation maps will help the Hispanic populations of Grays Harbor and Pacific counties learn the best routes to take in order to safely reach a designated assembly area on high ground. The brochures also offer critical safety information in Spanish to help communities understand what a tsunami is as well as preparedness tips. The brochures have been available in English for some time.


Map shows destinations in the Aberdeen and Hoquiam areas. It’s been available in English for some time, but was recently produced in Spanish.

Following a 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Japan in 2011, the devastating four-story tall Tohoku tsunami killed thousands in Japan on March 11, 2011. At the same time, a tsunami advisory was issued for the coast of Washington, but the largest wave was only expected to reach a foot or two over normal sea level. As a precaution, however, residents in several coastal communities were asked to move to higher ground.

But there were several non-English speaking residents who chose to evacuate to nearby hospitals and other critical facilities instead of high ground or officially designated assembly areas. These spontaneous evacuations to essential facilities caused great concern for hospital staff, emergency managers and first responders. It was subsequently identified that there was a shortfall in localized tsunami preparedness materials accessible to non-English speaking populations.


Map shows destinations in the northern Pacific County. It’s been available in English for some time, but was recently produced in Spanish.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data from 2013, people identifying themselves as Hispanic or Latino within Grays Harbor County account for 9.6 percent of the total population. Within Pacific County, that figure is approximately 8.8 percent. Having recognized the evacuation issues during the 2011 Tohoku tsunami, the Washington State Tsunami Program successfully applied for funding through the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program to create tsunami outreach and preparedness products accessible to non-English speaking coastal populations. The first product of this new series includes tsunami evacuation brochures in Spanish. With funding from the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, and working in close coordination with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and a specialized translation company, the Washington State Tsunami Program successfully produced the first Spanish tsunami evacuation brochures for the Washington’s Pacific Ocean coast.

Maps in both English and Spanish can be downloaded here:

There are maps translated into Spanish for the communities of Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Cosmopolis, Ocean City, Copalis Beach, Pacific Beach, Moclips, Ocean Shores,Westport, Grayland, Bay Center, Long Beach, Ilwaco, Ocean Park, Raymond, South Bend, North Cove, Tokeland and many unincorporated areas.

Raymond Junior/Senior High School Recognized As 2014 School Of Distinction

Raymond Junior/Senior High School has been recognized as a Washington State 2014 School of Distinction. This award acknowledges outstanding improvement in reading and math sustained over a five-year period, and is limited to schools in the top 5% of improvement for their grade band. Statewide, there were 17 high schools recognized.

This is the eighth time School of Distinction award has been made in Washington State. Statewide, 54 elementary schools, 22 middle schools, 17 high schools, and 8 alternative schools received the award. Describing the schools that are designated as School of Distinction award winners, Greg Lobdell, President of the Center for Educational Effectiveness noted, “These schools are from alI regions of the state, all sizes of towns, with a range from 2.7% to 100% poverty and enrollment of English Language Learners as high as 40%. These schools demonstrate that significant improvement is occurring all across our diverse public schools.”

Each regional Educational Service District throughout the state will be hosting an award ceremony to recognize the award winners within their districts. Dates will be announced in subsequent, regional press releases. Dr. Rich McBride, Superintendent of the North Central ESD in Wenatchee and leading this work for the ESDs stated, “At a time when our schools and classrooms are experiencing the pressure of reform initiatives at the state and national level, it is great to celebrate the success and hard work of our highest improving schools across the state. This celebration provides important validation and highlights our need for the continued support of improvement efforts across Washington that are making a difference for all students. Our congratulations to the staff, students, leaders, and communities for their exceptional passion and dedication.”

Coast Guard rescues two stranded boaters near Willapa Bay

A Coast Guard Air Station Astoria MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued two stranded boaters near Willapa Bay, Wash., Saturday.

The 67-year-old man and 57-year-old woman were safely transported to an airfield in Raymond, Wash., where they were met by local emergency medical services for evaluation.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Columbia River command center received the call for assistance via Pacific County Dispatch late Saturday night after the boaters reported their 12-foot aluminum skiff was aground on a mud flat. The two individuals became stuck in the mud after leaving their vessel to attempt to walk to shore prompting another 911 call. The command center watchstanders dispatched the Jayhawk crew to respond. Once on scene they hoisted the boaters aboard and departed to Raymond.

“This case illustrates the importance of having hoist capable helicopters in the Pacific Northwest,” said Mark Dobney a command duty officer at Sector Columbia River. “With the professionalism of our highly trained helicopter crews, along with aircraft capabilities, we were able to get these two boaters the help they needed in a timely manner.”

Grays Harbor tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain return to port in September

Grays Harbor’s two tall ships return to their home port of Aberdeen next month for public tours and sailings before heading to California for their 2014-2015 tour of Golden State ports. Hawaiian Chieftain arrives at Seaport Landing on Sept. 4 for brief stay through Sept. 7. In addition to making final preparations for California, she’ll offer public tours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as well as public Adventure Sails at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6 and Sunday, Sept. 7. Tickets are $43 all ages.
Lady Washington arrives at Seaport Landing Sept. 16 for a 17-day stay in Grays Harbor, including two days at Westport Sept. 27-28. During her time at Seaport Landing, crews on Lady Washington will conduct routine maintenance and offer public tours and excursions. The ship is open for tours Tuesday to Friday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Here’s the excursion schedule:
9/20-21: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Adventure Sail, $43. (Seaport Landing)
9/27-28: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Adventure Sail, $43. (Westport Marina)
Purchase tickets at or call 800-200-5239.
Lady Washington is also booking K-12 educational programs for Grays Harbor County schools. One-hour dockside and three-hour sailing programs are available. Discounted pricing is also available for eligible schools. For information, contact Roxie Underwood, 800-200-5239,
Lady Washington’s visit to Westport coincides with the third annual Salmon Tales Festival, a celebration of the region’s iconic fish and the local fishing industry. Festival information is at
Launched in 1989 as part of the Washington Centennial celebrations, Lady Washington was designed by Ray Wallace as a replica of one of the first U.S.-flagged vessels to explore the west coast of North America. She was named by state’s tall ship ambassador by the Legislature in 2007, and she sails to more than 40 ports a year in Washington, Oregon, and California offering K-12 education programs and excursions. Launched in 1988, Hawaiian Chieftain was designed by Raymond Richards and built at the Lahaina Welding Company in Hawaii. The vessel specializes in educational programs for young people.


Editors: Download high-res images of our ships at Click the “Media Images” category and select a gallery. We welcome media aboard to observe operations and interview crew. Contact (media only) Joe Follansbee, 360-589-0766, Information is subject to change without notice. Facebook:; Twitter: @graysharborhist.

Washington State Patrol Receives Credible Tip On Location of Wanted Man

Detectives with the Washington State Patrol have received what they believe is a credible tip as to the location of Victor Barnard, a former minister from Pine County, Minnesota, charged with 59 counts of sexual molestation of children.

Patrol Car

Earlier today Barnard, 52, was reportedly seen leaving the McDonalds restaurant on SR 101 in Raymond heading towards Aberdeen. He was seen driving a dark blue Audi 2 door with tinted windows and a spoiler. The witness indicated the vehicle “looks like a Porsche.” There was a white female riding with him at the time.

Additional information was developed that places Barnard in the Raymond and Aberdeen areas for approximately the previous week.

On April 11, the Pine County, MN, Attorney’s Office issued a criminal complaint against Barnard. The charges result from a multi-year investigation by the Pine County Sheriff’s Office into Barnard’s behavior while he was ministering to a religious group in Northern Pine County.

Later that same day, the Pine County Sheriff issued a nationwide warrant for Barnard, who was last known to be in the Spokane, Wash. area. The Pine County Sheriff’s Office is coordinating with the State of Washington and Homeland Security for the apprehension of Barnard.

Anyone who may have information as to the whereabouts of Victor Barnard, please call 911. Local police agencies are assisting in the search and will be ready for your call.

Pacific County Deputy spots and arrests man wanted for Raymond burglary

On August 8th, an alert Pacific County Sheriff’s Deputy was traveling north bound on State Route 101 through the city of Raymond when he recognized a male subject that was wanted by the Raymond Police Department for the crime of Residential Burglary, walking southbound on the sidewalk. The deputy turned around and attempted to make contact with the suspect.

The deputy exited his patrol vehicle and as he did so, the suspect began to run away. The deputy chased the suspect on foot for several hundred yards. The suspect fled to a residence that he was affiliated with. The deputy and officers with the Raymond Police Department spoke with the home owner and the suspect gave up and came out of the residence a short time later.

The suspect, identified as Terrance E. Hall, age 49 of Raymond, was placed under arrest and transported to the Pacific County Jail for booking. Hall is being held on 20,000.00 bail.

The Sheriff’s Office encourages citizens to still maintain secure residences, even during the warm and pleasant weather that we have been experiencing. Windows and doors left open or unsecured are prime targets for burglars.

Emphasis patrols in Grays Harbor County net 26 arrests for DUI

DUI continues to be the number one factor in traffic fatalities and serious injury statewide as well as here in Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties. In an effort to save lives, local law enforcement agencies participated in a statewide effort over the Fourth of July weekend to crackdown on impaired drivers. During that time period 26 impaired drivers were arrested in Grays Harbor County.

Overtime patrols funded by the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission were conducted border to border throughout Washington State. Locally, the patrols were coordinated by Grays Harbor County Target Zero Task Force and were conducted throughout Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties. Agencies included: Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department, Pacific County Sheriff’s Department, Montesano, Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Ocean Shores, Cosmopolis, Elma, McCleary, Raymond, South Bend Police Department (s), as well as the Washington State Patrol.

Target Zero, which is a statewide effort to prevent all traffic deaths in Washington by the year 2030.

Scrolling sign prompts evacuation and search of Pacific Transit bus

Police pulled over, evacuated, and searched a transit bus headed to Raymond yesterday, after a distress signal was reported to 911.
Chief Criminal Deputy Pat Matlock with the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office reports Raymond, South Bend, Pacific County and Washington State Patrol deputies detained the bus at milepost 61 alongside State Route 101. It was reported just before 6 Monday evening, an alert driver said they had passed a transit bus, it’s scrolling reader board read “emergency call police” while driving on State Route 101.

Pacific Transit tells us Route 14 runs from Raymond to Aberdeen 3 times a day. The last run was stopped on the way back.

Matlock said 10-12 people were delayed by about an hour while State Patrol and Sheriff’s deputies searched the bus for any suspicious activity. The inspection revealed the bus driver had accidentally tripped a warning message built into their reader boards.

Possible medical emergency to blame for single vehicle accident North of Raymond

The Washington State Patrol says a possible medical emergency is to blame for a single vehicle accident that sent a 32 year old South Bend woman, and her 7 year old daughter to Willipa Harbor hospital. Their driver, a 56 year old man from South Bend, was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center.
The 1997 Dodge Ram van went off the road 9 miles North of Raymond on State Route 101 Saturday morning and struck a tree. Their vehicle was totaled, Trooper Blake’s report state no charges will be filed.


UPDATE: The Washington State Patrol has notified next of kin to 56 year old Vilath Nhotsoubanh of South Bend. He was driving a 97 Dodge Ram van when a medical emergency caused the van to go off the road and into a tree. He was airlifted from the scene to Harborview Medical Center, and later passed away. 

Law enforcement administrators meet in Pacific County to discuss trending issues

The Pacific County Sheriff recently hosted a meeting of local law enforcement administrators to discuss several regional issues. The combined agency meeting was to further efforts by each of the agencies to share information and resources, and work together towards improving service to the public. A variety of issues were discussed including but not limited to the new ATV laws, private forest land closures, field intelligence information sharing, beach driving and inter-agency training. A special presentation was made by the Intellicheck/Mobilisa Company that introduced an app that would aid law enforcement in checking for crimes that people may be wanted for with a smart phone. 

Other agencies were also introduced to the Sheriff’s Office K-9 and handler, Deputy Justin Kangas. The Pacific County Sheriff’s Office hosts similar meeting like this on a semi-annual basis. Sheriff Johnson appreciates the participation in the meetings and noted that inter-agency cooperation allows for better and more effective law enforcement. The original meetings involved the Sheriff’s Office and local police departments and now have been expanded to include Washington State Parks, Department of Corrections, Washington State Patrol and Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. 
From left to right in the photo: Washington State Parks Supervisor Evan Roberts, Raymond Police Chief Chuck Spoor, Washington State Department of Wildlife Sgt. Dan Chadwick, South Bend Police Chief Dave Eastham, Pacific County Sheriff Scott Johnson, Pacific County Undersheriff Todd Fosse, Washington State Department of Corrections Supervisor David Thompson, Washington State Patrol Captain Chris Old, Washington State Patrol Sgt. Brad Moon and Washington State Patrol Sgt. Larry Conley.

Present at the meeting but not pictured in the photo were Pacific County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Pat Matlock, Shoalwater Bay Tribal Police Chief Robin Souvenir and Raymond Police Sgt. James Samplawski.