Washington Governor Gregoire Declares State of Emergency

December 6, 2007

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has declared a state of emergency, to bring immediate support to areas in the Pacific Northwest affected by storms and flooding. Some media outlets are reporting that Gregoire estimates damages will top $1 billion.

On Dec. 2, 2007, a storm system bombarded the state, producing threatening citizens and property of Washington State;
This storm system is producing heavy rains, flooding, landslides, high winds, and major road closures and is causing extensive damage to homes, businesses, public utilities, public facilities, and infrastructure.

Based on her assessment of the damage, Gregoire declared a state of emergency. The Washington State Military Department has activated the state Emergency Operations Center, implemented response procedures and is coordinating resources to support local officials in alleviating the immediate social and economic impacts to people, property, and infrastructure and is assessing the magnitude of the event.

As of this morning, the Washington State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) reported receiving 97 requests for support, including fuel, water, generators, vehicles, sandbags, food, sanitation supplies, staff, and evacuations for stranded residents.

Approximately 35,000 residents remain out of power, but the number is steadily declining, EOC said. The largest number of outages is in Grays Harbor, where approximately 25,000 homes and businesses are without power. About 1,000 customers in both Clallam and Lewis counties and another 500 in Mason are waiting for power to return.
The Bonneville Power Administration transmission has been restored to all locations with the exception of Cosmopolis. Pacific County Public Utilities Department reported some Raymond and Naselle customers were restored today, and power was restored to Chinook, Ilwaco and Seaview. Pacific County has 6,000 thousand customers without power.

Continued scattered power outages will occur until access is cleared to downed power lines, water has receded and areas are safe for utility crews to proceed. New outages may occur as trees rooted in rain-saturated soils topple and cause more line damage.

The American Red Cross (ARC) reports 20 shelters open in 7 counties. A total of 770 displaced residents spent Tuesday night in shelters. Many displaced people are staying with friends or family.

Sources: Governor’s Office, EOC

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