Forecasters are warning residents and visitors along the Southern Oregon Coast of high surf as a series of storms make their way along the Pacific Ocean, creating the potential for dangerous sneaker waves.
"A powerful northwest swell will create breakers up to 25 feet. All beach areas will be impacted by these large, powerful waves," says the National Weather Service (NWS).
The NWS predicts that hazardous surf will cause waves to break and run much higher on the beaches than normal. The powerful waves can easily and unexpectedly sweep people off jetties and other exposed rocks. They can also move large logs and other beach debris. Bar crossings and the surf zone will be dangerous due to strong currents and breaking waves.
As a result, forecasters have issued a High Surf Advisory in effect along the South Oregon Coast through 4 a.m. Saturday.
"Sneaker waves can cause sudden rushes of water over areas not previously washed by waves," warns the NWS. Last January in Depoe Bay, a man was washed out to sea by a sneaker wave. Then, last September, a coupe lost their lives after being swept away by a wave, also in Depoe Bay.
Visitors and residents along the coast are strongly advised to stay off of jetties or any areas along the shoreline where waves could potentially wash up. Those wishing to observe wave activity are urged to do so from a safe distance and never on rocky outcrops.