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Posts Tagged ‘Inslee’

State of Emergency Declared in Washington amid Killer Storms

Posted by feww on December 10, 2015

U.S. Pacific NW storms kill two, cut power to thousands, unleash mudslides

Governor Inslee has declared a state of emergency in Washington State as record-breaking storms continue to dump historic amounts of precipitation over the region.

State EOC activated due to hazardous weather throughout Washington

The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated at a Phase III level at 08:30 a.m. today in response to severe weather conditions throughout Washington State. Staff at the State EOC are monitoring the situation and available to assist with the needs of affected communities.

The Northwest Weather Service (NWS) has issued flood warnings for 25 rivers above flood stage in fourteen counties. The NWS has issued a variety of advisories, watches and warnings for coastal flooding, high winds, and other hazardous weather throughout the state.  This includes a high wind warning for Spokane and parts of southeast Washington.

Local emergency operation centers have been activated in nine counties — Cowlitz, King, Lewis, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, and Yakima counties.

Highlights

  • A buoy 440km off the Oregon coast showed waves were over 12m, as of posting, reported NWS.
  • 13 days this year with 2.5cm+ rainfall in Seattle, which was a new record. Total rainfall on those 13 days was 45cm, or 45% of the yearly total 100.5cm.
  • Storms dumped up to 47.6cm of rain on parts of Oregon, and more than 31cm on several areas in Washington.
  • Storm-related incidents have claimed at least two lives in Oregon, as of posting.
  • Tillamook County in Oregon has declared a State of Emergency following days of extreme rains that caused widespread flooding, mudslides and damage.
  • Severe flooding and damage have also been reported throughout the Oregon coast.
  • Sinkholes, cracks and landslides reported in multiple roadways, including on U.S. 101.

The national Weather Service (NWS) has issued multiple hazardous weather warnings for the region including the following Coastal Flood Warning

COASTAL HAZARD MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
558 AM PST THU DEC 10 2015

ORZ001-002-WAZ021-110000-
/O.CON.KPQR.CF.W.0001.151210T1700Z-151212T0000Z/
NORTH OREGON COAST-CENTRAL OREGON COAST-SOUTH WASHINGTON COAST-
558 AM PST THU DEC 10 2015

...COASTAL FLOOD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM THIS MORNING
TO 4 PM PST FRIDAY..

A COASTAL FLOOD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM THIS MORNING
TO 4 PM PST FRIDAY.

* TIDAL OVERFLOW: TIDES AND COMBINED STORM SURGE WILL RUN 2 FEET
  ABOVE THE ASTRONOMICAL PREDICTED VALUES THIS WEEK. THE HIGHEST
  TIDES OF THE CYCLE WILL OCCUR AROUND NOON TO 3 PM THURSDAY AND
  FRIDAY.

* RIVER FLOWS: RIVERS WILL BE RUNNING HIGH DUE TO RUNOFF FROM
  THE RECENT RAINFALL...AND THE ADDITIONAL RAINFALL EXPECTED
  THURSDAY AND FRIDAY. HIGH RUNOFF WILL INCREASE FLOOD POTENTIAL
  IN THE TIDALLY INFLUENCED REACHES AND ESTUARIES OF THE COASTAL
  RIVERS.

* WAVES AND WAVE IMPACTS: DANGEROUS BREAKERS OF 35 TO 45 FEET
  WILL IMPACT THE BEACHES THURSDAY WITH 30 TO 40 FT BREAKERS FOR
  FRIDAY. THE WAVES WILL WASH OVER THE JETTIES...THROW LOGS AND
  DEBRIS FAR ONSHORE...CREATE LARGE SURGES OF WATER ONTO THE
  BEACHES...AND CAUSE SIGNIFICANT BEACH EROSION.

* FLOODING IMPACTS: FLOODING OF LOW LYING AREAS AND ROADS PRONE
  TO TIDAL FLOODING CAN BE EXPECTED AN HOUR OR TWO BEFORE AND
  AFTER THE HIGHEST TIDES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS..

A COASTAL FLOOD WARNING MEANS THAT FLOODING IS OCCURRING OR
IMMINENT. COASTAL RESIDENTS IN THE WARNED AREA SHOULD BE ALERT
FOR RISING WATER...AND TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION TO PROTECT LIFE
AND PROPERTY.

BUSINESSES AND RESIDENTS IN AND NEAR THE SURF ZONE...AND ALSO
NEAR BAYS AND ESTUARIES SHOULD BE ALERT FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF
FLOODING AND VERY HIGH WATER SURGING INLAND AND INUNDATING
NORMALLY DRY AREAS BY TAKING PRECAUTION.

THIS IS A DANGEROUS SITUATION. RESIDENTS AND LOCAL OFFICIALS
SHOULD TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY IN LOW
LYING AREAS AFFECTED BY THESE ABNORMALLY HIGH TIDES AND SURF.

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Deadly Storms: State of Emergency Declared In Washington

Posted by feww on November 19, 2015

Killer storms cause major destruction across Washington state

Washington Governor Inslee declared a state of emergency in all counties on Wednesday after a deadly storm packing hurricane-force winds exceeding 160 km/hr (100 mph) left at lease three people dead. The storm triggered flooding and mudslides, killing at least three people, uprooting trees and cutting off power to about 350,000 homes and businesses.

Tuesday’s storm system, the latest in a series of violent storms that have swept across the state, also damaged about 1,200km of overhead power lines, authorities said.

“This is the largest crisis Avista has experienced in the company’s 126-year history,” said Avista Corp. , a major utility that generates and transmits electricity in the region.

“As crews struggled to mop up from the damage, tens of thousands still remained without power in the Puget Sound region and major highways were closed for cleanup. A spokesman for the Snohomish County Public Utilities District (PUD) said the fierce windstorm could be one of the worst recorded, and customers could be impacted into the weekend,” said a report.

The massive storm system also forced road closures in the state of Oregon, as floods mudslides and fallen trees shut down roads including a long stretch of Interstate 84 as well as several other highways, said the state police.

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Federal Emergency Declared in Washington

Posted by feww on August 22, 2015

Washington Emergency Declaration

Washington Wildfires (EM-3372) – Incident period: August 13, 2015 – Emergency Declaration declared on August 21, 2015

The White House has declared an emergency exists in the State of Washington in the areas affected by wildfires beginning on August 13, 2015, and continuing.

Areas that are worst affected by the deadly blazes are the counties of Asotin, Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Klickitat, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Spokane, Stevens, and Yakima and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Kalispel Tribe of Indians, the Spokane Tribe of Indians, and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation.

Washington Gov. had requested a Federal Disaster Declaration for the State of Washington as dozens of lightning-sparked wildfires raged uncontrollably killing and injuring fire crews.

“Currently 11 counties and 4 tribes are affected or threatened by fires with 39 confirmed residences and 60 other structures destroyed [and] over 235,000 acres burned,” Gov. Inslee had said in his official request. “Over 3,600 homes remain threatened, and these numbers are increasing each day as the largest fires remain uncontained.”

“Washington State had a major disaster declaration on August 11, 2014 for Washington Wildfires (DR-4188) in Okanogan County from the Carlton Complex Fire. The impacts of this current event are likely to exacerbate the ongoing housing and economic recovery efforts from the declared disaster last year.”

New Evacuation Orders Issued in Washington

The State emergency officials issued additional evacuation orders for more communities and towns threatened by deadly wildfires in Washington, including the entire population of Tonasket, and several parts of Okanogan, as dozens of large wildfires continued to scorch the drought-parched region.

Up to a 100 major fires are currently burning about 1.75 million acres in western, northwestern and southern U.S., according to FIRE-EARTH estimates.

The states reporting major wildfires are Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Washington, according to NIFC.

At least 41,525 fires have burned 7,293,666 acres so far this season, said NIFC.

Fire Management Assistance Declarations

The Federal Officials have also declared the following Fire Management Assistance Declarations:

  • Oregon Grizzly Bear Fire Complex (FM-5107)
    Incident period: August 13, 2015 – Fire Management Assistance Declaration declared on August 21, 2015
  • Washington Twisp River Fire (FM-5106)
    Incident period: August 19, 2015 – Fire Management Assistance Declaration declared on August 19, 2015

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Washington Declares Statewide Drought Emergency

Posted by feww on May 16, 2015

Glacier lilies blooming on Olympic Peninsula, instead of 200cm of snow

Gov. Inslee declared a statewide drought emergency for Washington on Friday. Snowpack is at historic lows, rivers are dwindling and irrigation districts are forced to cut off water to farmers. 

Snowpack in the mountains has dropped to less than 16 percent of normal levels statewide.

On May 1, the Natural Resources Conservation Service found 11 snow sites in Washington that are snow free for the first time ever. Of the 98 snow sites the Conservation Service measured in Washington, 66 of them are currently snow free.

In April, 78 percent of streams statewide were running “below or much below normal,” with some already at historic lows, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

“We’re really starting to feel the pain from this snowpack drought,” Inslee said. “Impacts are already severe in several areas of the state. Difficult decisions are being made about what crops get priority water and how best to save fish.”

Crop loss resulting from the drought is projected at $1.2 billion this year, said the Washington Department of Agriculture.

  • To protect crops in the state’s most productive agricultural region — the Yakima Basin—irrigation districts are turning off water for weeks at a time to try to extend water supplies longer into the summer.
  • In the Walla Walla region, water is being shifted from creek to creek to keep water flowing for steelhead, Chinook and bull trout. Fish are even being hauled farther upstream to cooler water.
  • On the Olympic Peninsula, instead of 80 inches of snow now, flowers like glacier lilies are blooming.
  • The Department of Natural Resources expects more early-season and higher-elevation wildfires amid the continuing drought..

Notable quotes…

“We’re really starting to feel the pain from this snowpack drought. Impacts are already severe in several areas of the state. Difficult decisions are being made about what crops get priority water and how best to save fish.” Gov. Inslee

“This drought is unlike any we’ve ever experienced. Rain amounts have been normal but snow has been scarce. And we’re watching what little snow we have quickly disappear.” Washington Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon

State of Emergency Declared on March 13, 2015

Inslee declared a drought emergency for three Washington regions on March 13, 2015 when statewide snowpack  averaged 27 percent of normal. The proclamation was for the Olympic Peninsula, on the east side of the central Cascade Mountains including Yakima and Wenatchee, and the Walla Walla region, which are vital to apple and wine production, said the governor’s office.

 

 

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Drought Emergency Declared in Oregon

Posted by feww on March 18, 2015

Oregon counties facing dry conditions and low snowpack

Gov. Brown has declared a drought emergency in Malheur and Lake counties due to dry conditions, low snowpack, and lack of precipitation, said her office in a statement.

“Projected forecasts for Malheur and Lake counties look bleak, meaning these rural communities will continue to experience severe drought conditions,”said Brown. “In addition to creating an increased wildfire risk, this drought presents hardships to crops, agriculture, communities, recreation, and wildlife, all of which rely on Oregon’s water resources. I will continue working with federal, state, and local partners to help Oregonians in this part of the state through this challenging situation.”

“Projected forecasts for Malheur and Lake counties look bleak, meaning these rural communities will continue to experience severe drought conditions,” she said.

“In addition to creating an increased wildfire risk, this drought presents hardships to crops, agriculture, communities, recreation, and wildlife, all of which rely on Oregon’s water resources. I will continue working with federal, state, and local partners to help Oregonians in this part of the state through this challenging situation.”

Executive Order on Drought Emergency: http://www.oregon.gov/gov/Documents/executive_orders/eo_15-02.pdf

Drought Emergency in Washington State

Brown’s Executive Order on Drought Emergency follows Washington state Governor Inslee’s drought emergency declaration for three key regions across the state last week.

Inslee declared a drought emergency for the Olympic Peninsula, and the east side of the central Cascade Mountains including Yakima and Wenatchee, as well as the Walla Walla region.

“We can’t wait any longer, we have to prepare now for drought conditions that are in store for much of the state. Snowpack is at record lows, and we have farms, vital agricultural regions, communities and fish that are going to need our support.”

Snowpack is only 7 percent of normal in the Olympic Mountains. It ranges from 8 to 45 percent of normal across the Cascades, and 67 percent of normal in the Walla Walla region.

With snowpack statewide averaging only 27 percent of normal, 34 of the state’s 62 watersheds are expected to receive less than normal water supplies.

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