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  • Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136

Gov. Gregoire proclaims winter storm emergency

For Immediate Release: January 19, 2012

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today issued a proclamation that ensures the delivery of valuable dairy products across Washington state. The proclamation would also – if needed – allow the activation of the Washington National Guard, and free up state agencies to take extraordinary steps to help local jurisdictions during the current winter storm.

“This is purely a precautionary measure,” Gregoire said. “So far, we haven’t received any requests for state assistance – but we know weather conditions are rapidly changing. I want to make sure we have every resource available to ensure our communities are safe. This proclamation would allow us to activate the National Guard if we need to. It also allows state agencies to respond quickly to any storm-related requests from cities and counties for state assistance. A brief waiver of the restrictions on dairy truck drivers’ work hours is needed now to avoid shipment delays that could mean the loss of nearly $1 million a day for the state’s dairy industry.”

Gregoire signed the proclamation into effect on Jan. 18. The proclamation:
• Waives hours of service for drivers of trucks hauling intrastate bulk milk shipments from farms to dairy processing facilities and from dairies to processing facilities. The waiver is in effect through Jan. 22;
• Directs state government to support emergency response activities in local jurisdictions affected by the winter storm;
• Allows state agencies to make expenditures and utilize resources to assist local communities in their recovery efforts; and
• Authorizes the Washington National Guard to activate at the direction of State Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Timothy J. Lowenberg.

The proclamation adds that state actions are to be coordinated through the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Camp Murray.