OLYMPIA – Washington State Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed a state of emergency yesterday for 28 counties recovering from the impacts of recent severe winter weather.
The state of emergency covers the folowing counties: Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Clallam, Clark, Columbia, Cowlitz, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Klickitat, Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Pend Oreille, Pierce, Skamania, Snohomish, Spokane, Stevens, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, Whatcom and Whitman.
On Wednesday Inslee said “The colder, wetter and stormier weather this winter has heavily impacted many communities throughout the state.” “The impacts have been significant, from snow removal and damage to public facilities to transportation interruptions and the opening of shelters to assist those whose power was out or their homes damaged. Staff from appropriate state agencies are working with local officials to quantify the impacts and damages so we can determine whether to request federal assistance.”
Winter Weather Emergency
In his proclamation, Inslee said winter storms produced high winds, heavy rain and snowfall. The storms caused significant power outages, damage to roads, public utilities, along with homes and businesses.
The proclamation will help the WDOT make emergency repairs to the state roadways. It will also enable requests for federal financial assistance. Currently, state-wide damage to roads is estimated at more than $10 million.
Sandbags Available at Chelan County Public Works
Although Chelan County is not currently experiencing widespread flooding, weather
forecasts are calling for more rain. Chelan County Public Works is reminding the public that sandbags are available.
Residents who have an immediate need for sandbags can call the public works to schedule time for pickup. Free sandbags were funded by a federal grant to Chelan County Emergency Management. They are available to people living in unincorporated and incorporated areas of the county.
In a press release from Public Information Officer, Jill FitzSimmons, she stated that residence should bring their own shovels, gloves and other equipment for filling bags.
US Army Corps of Engineers Tips
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers offers the following tips for stacking sandbags:
Sandbags stacked in a single row work well in flood areas where there is no streamflow velocity or danger from floating debris.
- Fill the bag one-half to two-thirds full and leave it untied, folding the open end of the bag under the filled portion during stacking. The untied end should face upstream.
- Remember to remove any debris from the areas where bags are to be placed and to fill the low spots first before placing bags the full length of the area to be raised.
- Place the bags lengthwise and parallel to the direction of the flow. Partially overlap the bags to form a tight seal. Compact and shape each bag by walking on it.
- Single stacks generally are not stacked more than three rows high. Go higher to protect structures such as homes.
Residents in immediate need of sandbags are asked to contact one of the foremen listed below between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The foremen can be reached at:
- Keith Newberry, Wenatchee District (includes Sunnyslope and Wenatchee), at 667-6502 or 509-860-7342
- Ed Grant, Cashmere District (includes Monitor, Cashmere and Dryden), at 782-2721 or 509-679-2507
- Dan Mayfield, Leavenworth District (includes Leavenworth, Lake Wenatchee area and Plain), at 548-7272 or 509-860-4712
- Scott Mitchell, Entiat District, at 784-1175 or 509-630-4775
- Kermit McClellan, Chelan District (includes Chelan and Manson), at 682-2420 or 509-670-2314