Gov. Chris Gregoire has declared a state of emergency in Washington due to winter storms.
"Snowfall has reached record or near-record level in 30 of the state's 39 counties," Gregoire said in a written statement released Christmas Eve." With Eastern Washington and other parts of the state still expecting more snow, she said, the proclamation allows the state to respond quickly to local requests for help.
The emergency proclamation covers the cities of Spokane, Spokane Valley and Gig Harbor, as well as the Makah Tribe and King-, Pierce-, Snohomish- and Thurston counties.
Among the things affected: the proclamation temporarily lifts limits on truckers' hours for hauling milk from dairies. The dairy industry otherwise would have lost nearly $1 million a day from milk that would have been discarded because it was hauled longer than the normal rules allow.
Gregoire's move also allows her to call out the Washington National Guard to help with storm response, she said.