Watch: Storm surge floods waterfront restaurant in Birch Bay
BIRCH BAY, Wash. -- A waterfront restaurant in Birch Bay suffered quite a bit of damage when a storm surge during Thursday's wind event brought waves crashing into the dining area.
Video from Jessica Pangilinan shows a continuous barrage of swells smashing through windows of the Bay Breeze Restaurant & Bar bringing not only water but rocks into the restaurant.
Another video from Jason Higgins shows the bay waters carrying furniture from the restaurant out a front door:
A manager with the restaurant told KOMO News all of the windows on the water side of the restaurant broke. Employees were seen moving tables, chairs, and equipment quickly to try to save what they could.
They said the storm hit the restaurant the hardest at 1:30 p.m. and all customers were evacuated and safely made it out before the windows shattered.
"Lots of jobs and families affected by today's storm," the manager said. "We are Birch Bay and we are strong."
"Oh, I just feel so sorry for the people who own this place, who did all this work," added customer Nell Clymer, who's owned a home in Birch Bay with her husband since the mid-1990s. "All the past eight months and finally opened up a beautiful little spot for people to come to. And now it’s just all gone. In such a short period of time, the water created so much chaos for this little community."
Blistering winds over 65 mph struck the area right at the time of high tide and low atmospheric pressure to create a tidal surge of 11.3 feet -- about 2 feet above the predicted high tide, according to Jeff Parks with the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office. Flooding and debris was reported all along the shoreline at Birch Bay Road.
The sheriff's department had its Light Armored Vehicle patrolling the area looking for damage.
As many as 10,000 people lost power in the immediate area, Parks said, but there were no reports of any injuries.
A damage estimate wasn't available yet.
Storm surges were evident across much of the northern Puget Sound and Salish Sea waters. Video and photos from Anacortes also showed heavy seas:
Overall, over 300,000 people lost power in the storm, which toppled trees and power lines across the region as winds hit as high as 70 mph in spots.