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July 23, 2012 at 6:02 PM

State of emergency proclaimed in 16 Washington counties

Gov. Chris Gregoire proclaimed a state of emergency for 16 Eastern Washington counties Monday after a barrage of heavy Washington thunderstorms caused power outages, fuel shortages, building damage and road closures.

Areas receiving recovery help from state agencies include Adams, Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Jefferson, Kitsap, Kittitas, Klickitat, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Walla Walla and Yakima counties.

“This was a significant storm system that has not only impacted our roads and utilities, but, sadly, led to a storm-related death in Ferry County,” Gregoire said in a statement. “My thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family and friends.”

The proclamation directs state agencies “to do everything reasonably possible to assist affected political subdivisions in an effort to respond to and recover from the event.”

The Washington State Military Department, Emergency Management Division, will coordinate all assistance to the affected areas, according to a release from the governor’s office. State transportation, commerce, natural resource, health, technology and patrol agencies will also be involved in the recovery effort.

Gregoire said in a release that state agencies have been working on disaster-related incidents since Friday, but their roles in helping the 16 counties in need has continued to expand since then.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Ferry County, Gov. Chris Gregoire, storms

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