Governor proclaims emergency for new floods

OLYMPIA -- Gov. Mike Lowry today proclaimed a state of emergency in 13 counties affected by widespread flooding and has activated the Washington National Guard to help flooding victims.

The counties affected include Asotin, Clark, Columbia, Cowlitz, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lewis, Pierce, Skamania, Thurston, Walla Walla, Whitman and Yakima counties, and the Yakama Indian Nation. Other counties are expected to be added to the proclamation soon.

"Some of these counties are still coping with the damage from floods and winds last fall," Lowry said. "This additional weather storm just adds to the suffering."

Lowry said he will also ask for an extension for federal assistance from President Clinton, who made a federal disaster declaration Jan. 3. Federal aid is available to individuals and public agencies who suffered damage in the floods and windstorms last fall.

Lowry's proclamation directs state agencies to support emergency response activities in the affected communities. Such a proclamation allows the state to make extraordinary expenditures and use of resources to respond to the flooding. State actions are coordinated through the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Olympia.

The counties and Yakama Indian Nation included in the governor's proclamation of emergency already have declared their own states of emergency, as have the cities of Pullman and Centralia. Other local declarations may be added.

Representatives from the Washington Military Department, Washington State Patrol, Department of Transportation, Department of General Administration, Department of Ecology, American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have reported to the state EOC. Operated by Washington State Emergency Management, part of the Washington Military Department, the state EOC will be open 24 hours a day until further notice.


For more information, contact Mark Clemens, Washington Emergency Operations Center, at

360-438-7737 (media only) or the Governor's Communications Office at 360-753-6790.