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Portions of Birch Bay flood during wind storm; Popular restaurant heavily damaged

Birch Bay Flooding (Courtesy of Jason Higgins)
Birch Bay Flooding (Courtesy of Jason Higgins)
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Portions of Birch Bay were flooded with sea water during the height of Thursday's windstorm, damaging a popular restaurant that sent diners scrambling to avoid a massive surge of waves battering and eventually breaking through the dining area.

According to Whatcom County Under Sheriff Jeff Parks, Birch Bay Road was closed due to flooding and debris. He said at one point the tide and winds caused a tidal surge of 11.3 feet.

The flooding got so bad a restaurant, the Bay Breeze Restaurant & Bar, near the water flooded.

A manager with the restaurant told KOMO News all of the windows on the water side of the restaurant broke. They said the storm hit the restaurant the hardest at 1:30 P.M. and all customers were evacuated.

"Lots of jobs and families affected by today's storm," the manager said. "We are Birch Bay and we are strong."

In a cell phone video obtained by KOMO News, employees were seen moving tables, chairs, and equipment quickly to try to save what they could as waves continued to batter the restaurant.

"Oh, I just feel so sorry for the people who own this place, who did all this work. All the past 8 months and finally opened up a beautiful little spot for people to come to. And now it’s just all gone," added customer Nell Clymer, who's owned a home in Birch Bay with her husband since the mid-1990s. "In such a short period of time, the water created so much chaos for this little community."

The sheriff's department had its light armored vehicle out checking for damage in the area.

Whatcom Unified Emergency Management said on Facebook due to power outages in Point Roberts, the Fire Chief has notified them the Community Center and the Fire Station will be open an don back-up generator power overnight for residents in the Point Roberts area.

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