Contact Information

  • Governor's Office, 360-902-4111

State agencies coordinate winter storm recovery efforts in eastern Washington

For Immediate Release: February 12, 2008

OLYMPIA – Winter storm response efforts went into high gear last week, following repeated snowstorms and record snowfall in mountain passes and Eastern Washington. Gov. Chris Gregoire issued a state of emergency proclamation Jan. 31 covering 15 Washington counties: Adams, Clark, Columbia, King, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, Whitman and Yakima.

“Our response to these storms is a great example of state and local governments working together to maximize our resources and deploying them quickly, in the right place and at the right time,” Gregoire said.

The Spokane area received almost 40 inches of snow last month, the fourth-highest January snowfall in the city’s recorded history. Interstate 90 at Snoqualmie Pass received seven feet of snow in seven days during the last week of January alone.

The emergency proclamation allowed multiple state agencies to quickly deploy people and resources to respond. Efforts included:

  • Providing road crews access to additional snow blowers and snow removal equipment from the National Parks system and the National Guard;

  • Opening three community centers to maintain breakfast and lunch programs during school closures; and

  • Mobilizing Ecology Washington Conservation Corps crews to Spokane to shovel snow from school roofs.

With winter only half over, personal and family emergency preparedness should continue to be a priority for Washington residents. Homeowners are urged to check whether they have a three-day supply of emergency items, especially food, water, flashlights and battery-powered radios. Drivers are urged to keep a well-stocked emergency kit in their vehicles. Taking these simple steps to prepare could save hassle and headache, and provide peace of mind during the next storm.

For more examples of state and local storm responses, see the attached fact sheet.

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