Army Corps of Engineers shores up LaPush jetty in advance of whopper storm
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Emily Foster/The Talking Raven
Workers with Bruch and Bruch Construction of Port Angeles and the Army Corps of Engineers scurry to place protective rock called rip rap along the LaPush waterfront Friday.

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

LAPUSH — Crews contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are placing almost 500 tons of large boulders, known as rip rap, along a jetty protecting LaPush from flooding in preparation for 29-foot waves and 65 mph winds predicted starting Saturday.

The Army Corps Emergency Management Response team has been at the Quileute reservation on the North Olympic Peninsula's Pacific coast since 8 a.m. today (Friday) placing the rip rap along a stretch of a jetty at high risk of breaching during this weekend's storm, Quileute tribal spokeswoman Jackie Jacobs said.

Work was expected to be completed by tonight, Jacobs said.

If a large breach happened at this portion of the jetty, Jacobs said the Quillayute River could break through at high water and create a new route for the river to the Pacific Ocean.

“This will place much of the beach that protects the tribe's village at risk of significant erosion this winter,” Jacobs said in an email.

The jetty, built more than 50 years ago, protects LaPush, the majority of which lies in an area at high risk for flooding during extreme weather events, Jacobs said.

According to National Weather Service forecasters, waves as high 29 feet are expected between 4 p.m. Saturday and 4 a.m. Sunday along the Pacific Coast.

Heavy rains expected in Port Angeles, Sequim, Port Townsend and other lowland areas could produce localized flooding, according to the National Weather Service.

A high-wind warning is also in place for the West End from now until about 4 a.m. Saturday, with gusts approaching 65 mph, according to the Weather Service.

Windy conditions are also expected along the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Admiralty Inlet.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: January 10. 2014 5:03PM
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