On December 2nd, Mother Nature unleashed her fury in Grays Harbor County. Residents awoke to cold temperatures, torrential winds and biting rain. The power was gone and so were all the comforts it brings. Along coastal highway 109, are three communities, Pacific Beach, Moclips and Aloha. They are about 2 miles apart and share a common fire department, District #8. Monday, December 3rd, the first day of survival mode, the fire department recognized the seriousness of the situation and opened up their hall to the public. They drove through the area with loud speakers announcing that they were open to help anyone in need. Imagine what a comfort that was to families with young children and to the elderly and frail. Thus began six days and five nights of a round the clock volunteer operation at District #8. There were 10 to 12 volunteers present during the day and 2 to 3 spent every night at the hall.
Power was provided by generators, running constantly. They had two stationary and 6 portables for satellite use. One community resident was lodged five nights because he needed the power to run medical devices for life support. Meals provided were outstanding. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, prepared and served in the finest of style. The meals were tasty, warm and filling. They served a total of 16 meals to 1,345 residents. They also went around the area to see if anyone who could not get to the fire station needed help. Consequently they delivered 124 meals three times a day to shut- ins.
The community came together during this disaster. It will be a long time before all the damage is repaired, but the best part is the attitude and willingness of the community to share the burden. Local businesses and residents donated food and non-food items for use. Many of the residents that lost power donated the food from their freezers and refrigerators rather than lose it all. Grays Harbor Fire District 8 are hometown heroes.