Near Hurricane Force Winds Batter Oregon Coast

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Mon, March 12 2012 at 6:58 PM, Updated: Mon, March 12 2012 at 10:52 PM

Near hurricane force winds are hitting the state of Oregon and the coast is seeing some windy weather roll in as well.

High winds whipped over the water off the coast of Brookings.

Back near shore, boatmen got to work, tying in their boats and hunkering down.

"That's a 70,000 pound boat," said Malcolm Baldwin as he pointed to his boat.

"I've got 5 lines tied on it [...] keeps it where it's supposed to be," he continued.

The Southern Oregon coast is getting battered by rain and high winds that are gusting up to 60 miles-per-hour.

At points, the wind was gusting so hard, it was difficult to stand.

What High Seas and Wind Mean for Fishermen

"The fishermen aren't too excited, they have to stay  home, the oceans are pretty's hard for them to go out and work," said Kathy Shanahan, an employee at a store near the harbor.

"The crab pots, they're going to lose a lot...the wind will blow them and wash them under the sand," said Baldwin, who used to be a commercial fisherman.

People depending on the sea, losing opportunies to earn money, every time a big storm rolls in.

Storm Chasers Arrive in Brookings

While the high winds and rough seas may have chased fishermen back into the safe harbor, others are chasing the storm.

"(I'm) coming from Grants Pass to look at the storm [...] The weather, it's beautiful," said storm chaser Russ Tregtin.

Whether beautiful or benevolent, boatmen in the Port of Brookings are just waiting out the storm.

"You can't fight mother nature," chuckled Baldwin as he sat behind the wheel of his boat.

NBC 5 spoke with other Curry County residents, who said they aren't worried about the storm. They said they've had weather like this before, and the strong winds, big waves and rain are to be expected around this time in the year. 

What the National Weather Service is Saying

Mother nature is expected to keep packing punches. A storm warning is in effect until 2am Tuesday morning. The National Weather Service has also issued a Hazardous Seas Warning which will last until 11am Tuesday. Extremely steep and hazardous seas are expected throughout the night.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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