FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Nov. 20, 1996, 3:50 p.m.

Lowry proclaims Spokane County emergency

OLYMPIA - Gov. Mike Lowry today (Nov. 20) proclaimed a state of emergency in Spokane County because of yesterday's snow and ice storm and accompanying power outages. The proclamation was signed at 3:28 p.m. this afternoon.

Lowry's proclamation activates the state's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and directs state agencies to support emergency response activities in Spokane County. State actions are coordinated through the State Emergency Operations Center in Olympia.

Spokane County and the City of Spokane both declared states of emergency yesterday in response to what officials called one of the area's worst ice storms on record.

Six shelters in Spokane County provided food and shelter to approximately 300 people overnight who had lost power and heat to their homes. More than 100,000 customers in Spokane County were without power at the peak of the winter storm. Local utilities officials say many of the power outages may not be restored until this weekend.

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For more information contact the Governor's Communications Office at 360-753-6790 or Rob Harper, Washington State Emergency Management Division, 360-438-7737.


WHEREAS, a severe snow and ice storm causing extensive power outages beginning on November 19, 1996, in Washington State and threatening the citizens of Spokane County and the City of Spokane; and

WHEREAS, the Washington State Military Department has implemented the state's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, coordinating resources to support local officials in alleviating the immediate social and economic impacts to people and property and assessing the magnitude of the disaster. The severity and magnitude of the destruction from freezing rain and snow are beyond the capabilities of the affected political subdivisions;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mike Lowry, Governor of the state of Washington as a result of the aforementioned situation and under RCW 43.06 and 38.52, do hereby proclaim that a State of Emergency exists in Spokane County and direct the implementation of the Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. State agencies and departments are directed to utilize state resources and to do everything possible to assist affected political subdivisions in an effort to cope with the emergency. Additionally, the Washington State Military Department, Emergency Management is instructed to coordinate all state disaster-related assistance to the affected areas.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the state of Washington to be affixed at Olympia, this twentieth day of November, A.D., nineteen hundred and ninety-six.

Signed by Mike Lowry, Governor of Washington

Attested to by Michelle Burkheimer, Acting Deputy Secretary of State