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Governor Gregoire Requests Federal Emergency Declaration for Skamania County Landslide

For Immediate Release: March 7, 2007

OLYMPIA - Governor Chris Gregoire today requested President Bush declare a federal emergency for a landslide that threatens homes and public facilities in the town of Stevenson in Skamania County.

Governor Gregoire also signed an emergency proclamation directing state agencies to assist efforts in Skamania County to protect residents from the slide. The proclamation authorizes the Washington National Guard to provide assistance as directed by State Adjutant General Timothy J. Lowenberg.

“We do not often have the opportunity to “foresee” a disaster and when we do, it is our responsibility to take action to protect those citizens who could be harmed,” said Governor Gregoire. “I hope this request will be quickly approved so that we can assist these families.”

Twenty-three homes above and below the slide area have the potential to be affected by the landslide, whose total volume is estimated at about 1.1 million cubic yards. None of the homeowners has landslide insurance.

The City of Stevenson and Skamania County have taken precautionary measures to allow slide debris to wash downstream toward the Columbia River by removing material near the Rock Creek Drive Bridge and have built temporary berms to protect the Skamania County Public Health Building, the Stevenson sewage treatment plant and the Skamania County Fairgrounds.

Governor Gregoire requested federal aid for technical and advisory assistance, debris removal, emergency protective measures and for homeowner assistance under the Individuals and Households Program.