Gov. Inslee issues emergency declaration for 19 counties

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Gov. Jay Inslee issued an emergency proclamation Wednesday for 19 Washington counties because of significant winter weather that is forecast to continue through this weekend.

“These storms caused injuries, significant power outages, evacuations, road damage, temporary road closures and detours, rail line closures, and extensive damage to homes, businesses, public utilities, public facilities, electrical power systems, infrastructure and property,” Inslee said in the proclamation.

Road damage caused by recent snow is estimated at more than $3 million and required the state Department of Transportation to begin repair work immediately through the implementation of emergency procurement procedures to alleviate impacts to public safety.

The proclamation affects Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston, Wahkiakum and Whatcom Counties.

    The Washington Military Department’s Emergency Management Division continues to monitor and coordinate response activities. The proclamation directs state agencies to use state resources to do everything reasonably possible to assist affected communities. It also allows the state to apply for federal Department of Transportation funds to help permanently repair roadways.