Statewide emergency declared by Governor Gregoire - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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Statewide emergency declared by Governor Gregoire

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    COLFAX, Wash. - The City of Colfax has declared a State of Emergency following the heavy snowfall the city has experienced over the last few weeks.

     
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    COLFAX, Wash. - The City of Colfax has declared a State of Emergency following the heavy snowfall the city has experienced over the last few weeks. The City of Colfax released this statement: >>
  • Mayor Verner declares emergency

    Mayor Verner declares emergency

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Mayor Mary Verner today declared an emergency within the City of Spokane as a result of record snowfall in the past week and forecasts for continuing snow.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Mayor Mary Verner today declared an emergency within the City of Spokane as a result of record snowfall in the past week and forecasts for continuing snow today and throughout the week.  December 2008 already is the fifth snowiest on record, with more than a week to go.>>

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - On Christmas Eve, Gov. Chris Gregoire proclaimed a state of emergency in Washington due to the state's ongoing series of winter weather and storms.

Gregoire notes snowfall has reached record or near-record level in 30 of Washington's 39 counties.

The proclamation enables the state to respond quickly to local requests for emergency support and assistance arising from new storms.

Prior to the Governor's declaration the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) convened an emergency meeting Wednesday to discuss current conditions and the forecast for two major winter storm systems that could bring another 18 inches of fresh snow to the region.

Plow Hotlines

Spokane Valley.... 688-0311
Spokane City....... 456-2666
Spokane County..  477-3600
Spokane Valley Special Assistance.........    211

After a lengthy discussion that included representatives from emergency management, the BOCC determined that Spokane County is responding in every way possible and will remain on high alert status. However the BOCC said they would not declare a state of emergency until all available County resources have been depleted. In the course of the discussion, it was determined that no additional funding or resources would be available from the State of Washington, until the County could verify that all its own resources had been exhausted. At such time, the County Commissioners will convene an emergency meeting to declare an official, countywide State of Emergency. Governor Chris Gregoire has been in contact with the BOCC and offered whatever assistance the State can provide at the time an emergency is officially declared.     

Meanwhile, Spokane Mayor Mary Verner Wednesday declared an emergency within the City of Spokane as a result of record snowfall in the past week and forecasts for continuing snow today and throughout the week.  December 2008 already is the fifth snowiest on record, with more than a week to go.

The emergency declaration is the first step in seeking a "Proclamation of Emergency" from Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire to gain access to state and federal assistance. Read more on Verner's declaration here.

The County Commissioners were also briefed that road crews have finished plowing primary arterials and emergency routes, and are currently working on secondary arterials and well-traveled hills. With more snow in the forecast through Monday, residential areas may not be serviced for several days. 

If you don't know the primary or secondary arterials in your area, check snow plowing priority map here.

County residents are reminded that shoveling or snow-blowing into a

Severe Weather Links

- Mayor Verner declares emergency
PLOW UPDATE: Spokane Residential Streets
- MAP: Spokane Valley Snow Removal Priorities
- Colfax declares State of Emergency
- Home and business owners should report storm damage now
- Road and Pass Conditions
- Airport and Flight Information
road or street is unlawful because it jeopardizes other motorists.  Moreover, it could require the services of a snow plow; slowing their progress in clearing the entire 2,500 mile road system in Spokane County. 

In addition, Spokane County pushes snow to the curb line in cul-de-sacs. County officials understand this creates an inconvenience for property owners but with the amount of snow we have received, plowing it to the center of a cul-de-sac is a hazard for emergency vehicles because they won't have room to move or turn around. As a courtesy to plow operators, emergency responders and your neighbors, please - DO NOT PLOW OR SHOVEL SNOW INTO THE CENTER OF CUL-DE-SACS AND/OR PUBLIC ROADS!
 
Private contractors are currently removing snow from City of Spokane Valley residential streets. Limited snow plowing will occur from 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon as the Valley's snow removal provider says they will have limited resources available from Christmas Eve through Christmas Day and possibly into the weekend.

When plowing operations resume, they will continue according to the established snow plowing priorities. 

Spokane Valley Mayor Richard Munson declared a state of emergency in hopes that Spokane Valley may be able to access additional state and/or federal resources to address the massive amounts of snow that have fallen and to prepare for future snow storms.

Community members are reminded to be sure they have routine household emergency supplies of food, water and medical prescriptions on hand.

Spokane Valley officials also encourage community members to check on neighbors who may have special needs. If they need special assistance or social services, please call 211.

For information on snow removal on Spokane Valley residential streets, please call 921-1000.

Spokane Police are asking for a message to be sent to Spokane citizens -  "Be Nice to Others".  They have been receiving numerous complaints from citizens, upset that their driveways are being plowed shut.  Plow drivers are receiving threats from citizens, neighbors are getting into arguments with each other and tensions are high.

This is just a courteous reminder to our fine City; we all have a job to do and let's be respectful of others!  Plow drivers are people too!


 

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