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Office of Governor Gary Locke
Contact:  Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136

Governor thanks Washington National Guard for Pend Oreille Flood Support

OLYMPIA - Gov. Gary Locke today thanked the Washington National Guard for its work over more than a month to help the people and businesses of Pend Oreille County battle the worst spring flooding they've seen since 1948.

The guard ended its support mission Sunday, June 29, after more than 70 of its personnel provided potable water and manned traffic control points since May 23. The guard personnel were members of the Spokane-based 141st Air Refueling Wing, Air Guard, 1st Battalion, 161st Infantry of the Army Guard.

"The Washington guard members deserve our thanks for their work to help Pend Oreille citizens battle near record flooding on the Pend Oreille River," said Locke, who proclaimed a state of emergency in the county May 22. Locke said the Emergency Management Division has begun a preliminary public and private property damage assessment in Pend Oreille County. The survey will be completed by July 9 and will be used to determine if a presidential disaster declaration should be requested.

Locke said initial surveys by state and county officials revealed 180 primary residences and businesses suffered flood damage. "We want the additional survey work done quickly so we can determine if a federal disaster request is needed," he said. Locke already requested an extension of the deadline for submitting a request for federal disaster assistance.

The Spokane office of the National Weather Service canceled the flood warning for the Pend Oreille River on June 24. Minor flooding is predicted to continue in lowland areas adjacent to the river which has been near or above flood stage since early spring. Additional emergency information about the Pend Oreille flooding can be obtained from Lt. Col. Donna Hubbert at the Military Department, (253) 512-8481, or Rob Harper at Emergency Management, (360) 438-7737. Information on the Pend Oreille flood situation also can be obtained from the Military Department's homepage at .

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