• Ocean Shores mayor declares emergency after erosion control fails

    By: Graham Johnson

    Updated:

    The Pacific Ocean is coming ever closer to Elizabeth Jensen's condo on the south end of Ocean Shores.

    "It's part of living here but it is worrisome," Jensen said. 

    First, 10 ten feet of sand fell away.

    Then, last week in a storm, big waves combined with high king tides ripped open the giant sandbags, known as geotubes, that protect several houses and condos from erosion.               

    The land directly behind the failed geotubes is increasingly unstable.               

    "Something needs to be done to help support it," Jensen said.               

    Jensen doesn't expect her condo will tumble into the ocean.               

    She's more worried about a channel developing through the dunes, flooding her lower-lying neighbors and damaging the city sewers.               

    "It's happened quickly enough that we're very concerned how quickly it's happening," said Ocean Shores Mayor Crystal Dingler, who has declared an emergency.               

    She's appealing to the state for help, and to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which can only respond if a storm immediately threatens.               

    The city installed the geotubes in the 1990s to protect the properties.               

    "It was always meant to be a temporary fix and they've lasted 15 years so that's maybe just what you can expect," Dingler said.               

    She said the city never came up with a permanent solution because there wasn't enough money.               

    For now, the city is closely monitoring the geotubes for more damage.

    Want to talk about the news of the day? Watch free streaming video on the KIRO 7 mobile app and iPad app, and join us here on Facebook.

    Next Up: