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Big wave nearly washes storm watcher away

A giant wave surprised a storm watcher in Westport on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. He emerged wet but OK.

WESTPORT, Wash. -- A close call on the Washington coast as a storm watcher in Westport nearly got swept away. 30-foot waves came ashore with the afternoon high tide catching visitors off guard.

The high waves took their toll on that protective rock wall and flooded the streets. "I saw the wave coming in," said coastal resident Dave Zundel from the observation deck. "And everybody down there knew that it was a big one."

Zundel like scores of other people were drawn the observation tower in Westport to get a look at the storm and giant waves. "When it came up and over, none of us realized that it was going to be that big."

Home video showed a wave washed over and swept over a visitor. Fortunately he was OK. He held onto the railing and made it out safely, soaking wet, but alive.


"It's like having a flash flood coming right straight at you," said Zundel. The constant beating of the waves knocked rocks onto the main street and sent water flooding into town. Fortunately the Westport waterfront was improved to handle something like this.

Read more on the storm that hit the coast.

The sand barrier protection just put in at the Westport By The Sea condos appeared to hold just as the afternoon high tide hit.


"The water is high I've never seen it this high," said Washaway Beach resident Ken Watanabe who warily watched the wave action with his home now just a few yards from the edge. "Whatever happens, Mother Nature is going to do whatever it wants."

He said he's encouraged by the emergency action being taken by the citizen group 'Washaway No More' bringing in rocks to try to prevent further erosion that's taken dozens of homes through the years.


"I kept hoping we'd get a little less today then predicted," said Connie Allen of "Washaway No More.' "But that doesn't seem to be the case."


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