PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The blustery weather at the Oregon Coast wasn’t enough to stop Whale Watch Week from starting Wednesday. 

Tuesday’s storm brought down trees and caused power outages and high water on the coast, but things calmed down in time for the annual event to begin Wednesday morning. 

Only one of the 17 Whale Watch sites, Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint, was closed Tuesday and was expected to open in time to participate in the weeklong event. 

Although conditions might not be as wet and wild as they were on Tuesday, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department still encourages visitors to check the weather forecast and TripCheck before traveling to the Oregon Coast. 

Visitors are asked to follow all posted signs, dress for the weather and follow all safety tips

The 2022 Whale Watch Week is the first to be held in person since 2019. It takes place along the Oregon Coast from Dec. 28 – Jan. 1. 

Every year, thousands of Gray whales migrate south along the Oregon coast. In late December, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department invites the public to visit the coast and see their journey. 

Trained volunteers will be stationed at most of the 17 sites to help visitors spot whales. They’ll also share information and answer questions from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. The Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The center offers whale exhibits and the chance for visitors to take in panoramic ocean views. 

Oregon State Parks has been hosting the event for more than 40 years. 

An estimated 17,000 Gray whales are expected to swim past Oregon’s shores over the next several weeks as they migrate south to the warm calving lagoons near Baja, Mexico.