FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Dec. 30, 1996
Gov. Lowry adds four counties to emergency
OLYMPIA - Gov. Mike Lowry has
proclaimed a state of emergency for four additional counties as
a result of the severe winter weather conditions. The governor's
proclamation, signed at 9 a.m., adds Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Jefferson
and Lewis counties to the 11 counties already named.
Lowry initially proclaimed a state of emergency Sunday, Dec. 29,
in Clallam, King, Kitsap, Mason, Island, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit,
Snohomish, Thurston and Whatcom counties. The Washington National
Guard was activated to help in areas requesting additional assistance.
"In many parts of the state, it is no longer the snow, but
the combination of melting snow and rain that is continuing to
cause damage," Lowry said. "We will keep a close flood
watch over the next couple of days and I urge all people to make
good judgments in deciding whether to travel and to consider personal
safety above all other factors."
Heavy rains and snow melt runoff have created flooding on western
Washington rivers and in many urban areas. While river levels
are expected to stabilize later today, rain storms predicted for
Wednesday could bring more widespread flooding. Residents are
advised to be prepared and to check with the media for emergency
information from local officials.
Flooding and damage to highways are majors concerns in the counties
added to the emergency proclamation. The Washington Department
of Transportation advises motorists to drive with caution due
to treacherous conditions, including snow, ice, slush and standing
water in roadways.
The state's major mountain passes, Stevens, Snoqualmie and White,
are all closed. For current information about mountain pass conditions,
The State Emergency Operations Center in Olympia remains fully
activated 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.
For additional information, contact the Governor's Communications
Office at 360-753-6790 or Rob Harper at the Washington Emergency
Management Division at 360-438-7737.
The severe winter storm which began December 26, 1996 is continuing
to cause extensive damage throughout Washington State.
WHEREAS, heavy snowfall and flooding
has caused extensive damage to homes, businesses, roads, and bridges,
in Lewis, Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Cowlitz Counties;
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 amend the proclamation
of December 26, 1996, and further proclaim that a State of Emergency
exists in Lewis, Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Cowlitz Counties
and authorize execution of the Washington State Comprehensive
Emergency Management Plan.
IN WITNESS WHERE OF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused
the Seal of the state of Washington to be affixed at Olympia this
30th day of December, A.D., Nineteen Hundred Ninety-six.
Signed by Mike Lowry, Governor of Washington
Attested to by Ralph Munro, Secretary of State