Lowry proclaims winter storm emergency

OLYMPIA - Gov. Mike Lowry proclaimed a state of emergency at 11 a.m. today as a result of the severe winter weather conditions throughout much of the state. The governor's proclamation covers Clallam, King, Kitsap, Mason, Island, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston and Whatcom counties and activates the Washington National Guard to assist in in areas requesting additional assistance.

The Washington Department of Transportation advises motorists to stay off roads today due to treacherous driving conditions, including snow, ice and slush. Officials urged motorists to be especially cautious of standing water in roadways.

Local officials also urge homeowners and business owners to check structures with flat roofs to ensure that water is draining to avoid collapses.

The state's major mountain passes - Stevens , Snoqualmie and White - are all closed. For current information about mountain pass conditions, call 1-800-SNO-INFO.

The State Emergency Operations Center in Olympia was fully activated at 8:20 a.m. today to support local jurisdictions in their response to the winter storm emergency. Staff from the Washington State Emergency Management Division are coordinating with other state agencies to provide state support for local agency requests for assistance.

More than 200,000 Washington residents are still reported to be without electrical power.

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For additional information, contact Mark Clemens at the Washington Emergency Management Division at 360-438-7737.