Sen. Cantwell to declare coastal radar operational

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COPALIS BEACH, Wash. (AP) -- Forecasters are celebrating a new Doppler radar station on the Washington coast that gives them better information about Pacific storms.

National Weather Service officials are holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday with Sen. Maria Cantwell who was instrumental in securing funding for the station near Copalis (koh-PAY'-lihs) Beach.

In the past week, forecasters have started seeing information from the radar. It fills in a gap of information left because the Olympics block the radar station at Camano Island.

The new radar station has dual-polarization technology to show the intensity of storms that may cause wind damage and flooding.

The radar stations at Camano Island, Spokane, Portland, and Pendleton, Ore., are being upgraded. The Weather Service says Washington will be the first state with dual-polarization Doppler radar coverage.