Category Archives: Weather Alerts

For SV Weather Alerts

Phase I Burn Ban Still in Effect

Please be aware that a Phase I Burn Ban is still in effect for Whatcom County. This stage of burn ban prohibits all open burning of residential yard debris and land-clearing materials. All issued, active burn permits are suspended under this ban.

Recreational fires will still be allowed but must meet specific criteria. You can read more about the required precautions and the standard rules for outdoor fires at the following links:

The South Whatcom Fire Authority can be reached at 360-676-8080 if you have any questions.

Have a great weekend!


Overnight snow fell in varying amounts in Sudden Valley with upwards of 8-12 inches at higher elevations with snow continuing to fall. Temperatures are currently around 25 degrees. The current NOAA forecast calls for additional snowfall of a couple inches today and we are currently in a Winter Storm Warning until Noon today.

The SVCA Snow Crew and the contracted Baby Plow began plowing efforts early this morning to start clearing roads. The crews will be focused on high priority, main roads first and will continue to focus on those roads until conditions on them improve. Secondary roads will begin being plowed once high priority roads have been sufficiently dealt with. 

We ask that you assist the plowing effort by either staying off the roads or ensuring your cars are located off the roadway in designated parking areas and your private driveways. Vehicles blocking the plows or emergency services can have a devastating impact. If you must abandon your car, please notify Security Dispatch immediately at 360-715-2449 and give your contact info, the location of the vehicle, along with the make and model.

All of the new snow has fallen on roads that were already covered with compact snow and ice. As a result, road conditions are poor and could continue to deteriorate as additional snow falls. Please stay home if you can as emergency services are all stretched thin and can be delayed in their ability to provide assistance. If you must travel, go S-L-O-W. Please ensure you have a winter emergency kit in your vehicle if you decide to travel. Whatcom County has made the same request for county roads.

Due to the continuance of inclement weather, there are reports of current power outages in various areas of Sudden Valley. If you lose power, it is recommended to open multiple faucets at a slight drip to help ensure pipes do not freeze in your house. The additional snowfall will also continue to put additional snow load on trees in the neighborhood which could cause trees, limbs, and/or branches to fall. To report a tree that has fallen over the roadway please notify Security Dispatch at 360-715-2449. Please provide them with the location and approx. size and diameter of the tree.

Current Forecast:

Current Winter Storm Warning:

Winter Emergency Car Kit Info:

Power Outage Tips:

To see images from around Bellingham, the following link will take you to a page with WSDOT cameras:

Road and Sandbag Information for Sudden Valley

Please be aware that heavy rains and local flooding have impacted Whatcom County. Sudden Valley does have a few roadway issues. As of November 28th, the following areas are reporting water across roads:

  • Sudden Valley Drive at Harborview
  • Acorn
  • AM/PM Beach

Please report flooding or dangerous road conditions to Security at 360-319-8200.

Please click this link for Road Closures outside of Sudden Valley:

If needed, sandbags are available by contacting Sudden Valley Security at 360-603-6136, or dispatch at 360-319-8200.

NOTICE: Weather forecast for Thanksgiving weekend

Please be aware that there is very wet weather in the forecast for the next several days.  The National Weather service has posted information regarding the potential for river flooding due to these weather systems.  To read their notice, please click the link here.

Additionally, Whatcom County is currently forecasting fairly significant surges in river water levels.  Information regarding the river forecast and current levels can be found at the County’s website located here.

These forecasts do not currently detail a flood event such as recently experienced, but we felt it important to notify Sudden Valley residents as the additional precipitation could exasperate local recovery efforts.

If you or your family and loved ones has been affected by flood damage, please see Whatcom County’s Public Works site “My Home or Business Was Impacted” for assistance and information.

Stay safe everybody!

Burn Ban Stage 2

Stage 2 Burn Ban Effective 8:00am, Wednesday July 7, 2021

Dry conditions and increased fire danger will call for further burn restrictions.

Whatcom County – Due to increasingly dry weather conditions, and the increase of Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fire danger to HIGH, and the Emergency Proclamation 21-10 Wildfire – Burn Ban by the Governor, the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s office, has ordered a stage 2 burn ban placing restrictions on all open burning.   Effective immediately, July 7, 2021, all open burning is prohibited in unincorporated Whatcom County until further notice.  This ban is in conjunction with statewide outdoor burning restrictions enacted by DNR for all state-protected lands and the US Forest Service burn ban, and Emergency Proclamation 21-10 Wildfires-Burn Ban from the Washington State Governor’s office. 

All outdoor burning is prohibited during this ban, including yard debris fires, land clearing fires, and recreational fires.

Propane fire pits without solid wood burning material will still be allowed, along with propane and charcoal BBQs.  Care should be used in the disposal of any used charcoal and ashes.  Charcoal and ash should be discarded in to a metal container and dowsed with water. The container should be kept 10 feet from any structures or vegetation for 72 hours.   Wood burning fire pits or charcoal pits or similar enclosures with grates or screens are NOT considered barbecues and not allowed. The use of liquid gas fired stoves or BBQ’s or charcoal BBQ’s at private residents shall be over a non-flammable surface and at least five feet from flammable vegetation and structures.

If you live within a tribal or city boundary, contact the fire agency in your jurisdiction for specific restrictions in those areas.  Also, contact any campgrounds you plan on visiting, as well as DNR, and the US Forest Service to learn about restrictions in those areas.

Violations of these burn restrictions can result in a minimum $250.00 fine.  In addition, if you have an illegal fire that escapes or needs to be extinguished by the fire department, you may be held financially and criminally responsible.

These outdoor burning restrictions may be reduced as weather and fire danger dictates.

If you have any questions on open burning in Whatcom County, please contact the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office at 360-778-5900 or listen to current burn ban information on the Whatcom County Burn Information Line at 360-778-5903.

County Alert: Stage 1 Burn Ban Effective 5:00 pm Friday, June 25, 2021

Due to warm weather conditions ahead and decreasing fuel moisture levels, the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office will be enacting Stage 1 Burn restrictions on open burning in unincorporated Whatcom County starting at 5:00pm on Friday, June 25th, 2021.

All land clearing and yard debris burning must be discontinued at that time and all issued burn permits are suspended.

Violations of these burn restrictions may result in a minimum $250.00 fine. In addition, if you have a fire that escapes or needs to be extinguished by the fire department, you may be held financially responsible for fire suppression costs, as well as be criminally charged.

If your property lies within Whatcom County Fire Districts (WCFD) 5- Pt. Roberts, 11- Lummi Island, or 17- Sandy Point, you must check with those fire districts for outdoor burning restrictions and to obtain outdoor burning permits (when available).

If your property lies within, or you are visiting property that is fire protected by Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), or a federal parks or forest agency, you must contact those organizations about outdoor burning restrictions.

If you have any questions on open burning in unincorporated Whatcom County, please contact the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office at 360-778-5900 or visit our website at: Outdoor Burning Information Line: 360-778-5903.


  1. 6 Complying with the State of Washington Outdoor Burning Regulations (WAC 173-425), the Northwest Air Pollution Authority (NWAPA), and Fire District 2 regulations: NO OUTDOOR BURNING is allowed in Sudden Valley except as provided in 1.6.3. (Further informational printouts regarding the WAC 173-425 and NWAPA are available at the Administration Office).
    1. 6.1 Definition:

“Fire fighting instruction fire” means fires for instruction in methods including, but not limited to, training to fight structural fires and forest fires.

“Land clearing burning” means outdoor burning of trees, stumps, shrubbery, or other natural vegetation from land clearing projects.

“Recreational fire” means cooking fires, campfires, and bonfires using charcoal or firewood that occur in designated areas or on private property for cooking or pleasure.

“Residential burning” means the outdoor burning of leaves, clippings, and other yard and gardening refuse originating on lands immediately adjacent and in close proximity to a human dwelling and burned on such lands by the property owner or his/her designee.

  1. 6.2 Policy:

By reference, the provisions of WAC 173-425 are adopted. Consistent with policies for Urban Growth Areas in High Density Areas, no residential or land clearing burning are allowed.

  1. 6.3 Exceptions:

The following types of outdoor burning are allowed:

  • Recreational fires with a total fuel area ofless than three (3) feet in diameter and/or two (2) are permitted.
  • Fire fighting instruction fires.
    1. 6.4 When a burn ban is in effect in Sudden Valley no outdoor frres except properly enclosed cooking fires using gas or charcoal as fuel will be permitted. All other outdoor fires (open flame, including recreational fires as described in 1.6.3) are prohibited for the duration of the burn ban.
  • A burn ban will automatically go into effect in Sudden Valley if Whatcom County declares a burn ban.
  • A burn ban may be declared in Sudden Valley by the Board President or the General Manager if a burn ban is put into effect by Skagit County or if conditions in Sudden Valley are deemed sufficiently hazardous as to require the ban.
  • The existence of the bum ban will be publicized by all available means including gate signs, web site, Sudden Valley Views and community bulletin boards.
  • A first violation of this rule will subject the violator to a fine of $250. Subsequent violations will be punishable by a fine of$500.

Heat Illness Awareness

Hot Weather Safety (WSDOH)

Severe heat may cause illness or even death. When temperatures rise to extreme highs, reduce risks by taking the following precautions.

Hot weather precautions to reduce the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke

  • Stay indoors and in an air-conditioned environment as much as possible unless you’re sure your body has a high tolerance for heat.
  • Drink plenty of fluids but avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine or a lot of sugar.
  • Eat more frequently but make sure meals are balanced and light.
  • Never leave any person or pet in a parked vehicle.
  • Avoid dressing babies in heavy clothing or wrapping them in warm blankets.
  • Check frequently on people who are elderly, ill or may need help. If you might need help, arrange to have family, friends or neighbors check in with you at least twice a day throughout warm weather periods.
  • Make sure pets have plenty of water.
  • Salt tablets should only be taken if specified by your doctor. If you are on a salt-restrictive diet, check with a doctor before increasing salt intake.
  • If you take prescription diuretics, antihistamines, mood-altering or antispasmodic drugs, check with a doctor about the effects of sun and heat exposure.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun. Awnings or louvers can reduce the heat entering a house by as much as 80 percent.

If you go outside

  • Plan strenuous outdoor activities for early or late in the day when temperatures are cooler; then gradually build up tolerance for warmer conditions.
  • Take frequent breaks when working outdoors.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sun block and light-colored, loose-fitting clothes when outdoors.
  • At first signs of heat illness (dizziness, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps), move to a cooler location, rest for a few minutes and slowly drink a cool beverage. Seek medical attention immediately if you do not feel better.
  • Avoid sunburn: it slows the skin’s ability to cool itself. Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes. A cool shower immediately after coming in from hot temperatures can result in hypothermia, particularly for elderly or very young people.

If the power goes out or air conditioning is not available

  • If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.
  • Ask your doctor about any prescription medicine you keep refrigerated. (If the power goes out, most medicine will be fine to leave in a closed refrigerator for at least 3 hours.)
  • Keep a few bottles of water in your freezer; if the power goes out, move them to your refrigerator and keep the doors shut.

The above information is available in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Russian, Somali, Ukranian

Whatcom County

Stay Cool and Hydrated to Prevent Heat Illness

Take the following precautions to make sure you and those close to you don’t get a heat-related illness.

  • Monitor People at Higher Risk of Heat Illness. People may be at greater risk for heat-related illness if they are:
    • Infants or young children.
    • 65 years of age or older.
    • Overweight.
    • Overexerting during work or exercise.
    • Physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure.
    • Taking certain medications, especially for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation.
  • Stay cool indoors. Don’t rely on fans alone to cool you down. When it’s hotter than 90 degrees, fans will not prevent heat illness. Take a cool shower or bath and seek air-conditioned spaces instead, and use your oven and stove sparingly to keep the temperature in your home down. If your home doesn’t have an air conditioner, go somewhere else that does, like a shopping mall. Remember to wear a mask when you’re indoors if you’re unvaccinated or if it’s crowded inside. 
  • Hydrate. Drink more fluids than you normally would, but make sure you replace salt and minerals. Heavy sweating depletes these. Sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade may be consumed to replace lost salts and minerals. 
  • Limit outdoor activity. If possible, limit your activities outdoors to the coolest parts of the day, in the morning and evening. Cut down on your exercise in the heat and rest often. If you must work outside, take frequent breaks. The CDC has more resources for people who work in the heat.
  • Wear appropriate clothing. Wear light-colored, light-weight and loose-fitting clothing.
  • Don’t leave children or pets in parked cars, even with windows cracked open. 

We’ve all heard that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. And it’s true! But if prevention fails, it’s important to know what the cure is. There are a number of critical steps you can take if you can recognize the signs of heat illness.

Know The Signs of Heat-Related Illness

Did you know that sunburn is a heat-related illness? That’s right. But there are more serious heat-related illnesses to be aware of, including:

  • Heat Cramps – These are painful muscle spasms, most often in the legs and abdomen. Heat cramps may be a sign of heat exhaustion.
  • Heat Exhaustion – Symptoms include heavy sweating; cold, pale and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; headache; fainting. 
  • Heat Stroke – This is a serious and life-threatening emergency. Symptoms include a body temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher; hot, red, dry or damp skin; a fast, strong pulse; headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; loss of consciousness.

If you’re experiencing heat cramps or heat exhaustion, you may need medical attention. If you’re experiencing heat stroke, you must get help right away. Delay may be fatal.

When to Seek Help and What to Do If You’re in Trouble

If you think someone may be experiencing heat stroke, call 911 immediately. Do not delay. Their life is in danger. After you’ve called 911, move the person to a cooler place, preferably with air conditioning. Use cool, wet cloths to cool them down, or place them in a cool bath. Do not give them anything to drink. 

You may need to seek medical attention if you or someone else is experiencing heat exhaustion or heat cramps too. 

Seek medical attention for heat exhaustion if:

  • You vomit.
  • Your symptoms get worse. 
  • Your symptoms last longer than one hour.

If you or someone else is showing signs of heat exhaustion, move to a cooler place, preferably with air conditioning. Loosen clothes and use cool, wet cloths to cool down, or sit in a cool bath. Sip water. Heavy sweating can eliminate critical salts and minerals your body needs, so make sure you’re replacing these too. You can replace salts by drinking a sports drink, such as Gatorade or Powerade. 

Seek medical attention for heat cramps if:

  • Cramps last longer than 1 hour
  • You’re on a low-sodium diet
  • You have heart problems

Heat cramps may be relieved by gently massaging or applying firm pressure on the cramping muscles. Drink water in sips unless you feel nauseous. If you feel nauseous, stop drinking water.

SVCA Crew Responding to Snowy Conditions

As the snow continues to fall we will continue to plow and sand until it stops and the roads are as safe as we can make them. As of Saturday morning, it’s not recommended that any vehicles travel the roads in Sudden Valley or the roads to town unless they are equipped with Four-Wheel Drive, snow tires, or chains. It’s a big help to our crews to have the roads free of trash cans or other obstacles, please make sure your belongings are tucked away from the street if you are able to do so safely.

We are expecting another storm Sunday morning, so we will have crews monitoring and responding to snow and ice conditions around the clock for as long as needed. If you have any issues or if you have a snow incident that you would like to report, please use this form. In an emergency, you should always call 9-1-1. We will update the community as the need arises. Please stay safe and warm.