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Storm damage prompts state of emergency

OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency throughout Washington, activating the National Guard and mobilizing state resources to help respond to a series of storms.

In a declaration signed late Wednesday afternoon, Inslee authorized state agencies to provide resources to cities and counties that ask for help responding and recovering from the storm. The Military Department’s Emergency Management Division was activated and ordered to coordinate assistance. The National Guard was ordered “to perform such duties as directed.”

The emergency declaration notes that storms from Nov. 13 through Wednesday have produced flooding, eroded slopes and streambanks, uprooted trees and produced landslides. They have resulted in three deaths, as well as injuries, power outages, road and rail closures and cancellations to ferries and airlines.

Some of the landslides and flooding were made worse by last summer’s wildfires that burned large areas of forests and open land. The storm damage and its effects are “a public disaster that affects life, health, property or the public peace,” the declaration says.


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