Put down the shovel and snorkel for a minute. Washington State’s illustrious guv, Jay Inslee, declared a State of Emergency covering nine counties yesterday. Grays Harbor leads the list of counties adversely effected by record rainfall “from multiple storms.” Counties named in the declaration appear in alpha order. They are: Grays Harbor, King, Kittitas, Lewis, Pacific, Pierce, Skagit, Wahkiakum, and Whatcom.
The proclamation cites a combination of “extreme rainfall,” “above normal temperatures” and soil saturation that resulted in significant storm damage, flooding, erosion and landslides in the effected counties. The proclamation directs the implementation of plans and procedures of the Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. It also directs “State agencies and departments to utilize state resources and to do everything reasonably possible to assist affected political subdivisions in an effort to respond to and recover from the event.”
What does it mean when a governor declares a state of emergency? Basically, it means state resources are quickly freed up to aid areas hit hard by a disaster. State resources made available to supplement local resources may include those related to preventing or alleviating damages, loss, hardship or suffering. Examples include resources needed to rescue, evacuate, shelter, and provide essential commodities like food and heating fuel. For more on what a gubernatorial State of Emergency declaration means, see: What It Means When the Governor Declares a State of Emergency.
Grays Harbor county commissioners declared a local state of emergency on Tuesday.
Here’s the link for the full text of the governor’s declaration. Or you can read it here (as gubernatorial proclamations go, this one’s actually pretty good):