This winter storm with blizzard conditions follows a week of record or near record snowfall, wind, freezing rain, and ice causing hazardous conditions for citizens, homes, businesses, public utilities, public facilities, and infrastructure in all jurisdictions of Washington State; and,
The Washington State Military Department activated the state Emergency Operations Center to implement response procedures and coordinate resources to support local jurisdictions in alleviating the immediate social and economic impacts to people, property, and infrastructure as a result of this disaster, and is continuing to assess the magnitude of the event; and
The extreme weather conditions affecting the state have created an emergency situation slowing the delivery of milk due to road closures and weather delays which frequently prevent drivers from completing their routes within the time limits prescribed by driver hours of service rules. Action is needed to ensure the delivery of this necessary commodity to the citizens of this state during the continuing storm, and to avoid predicted industry losses of nearly $1 million per day if their product is lost or wasted.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Christine O. Gregoire, Governor of the state of Washington, as a result of the aforementioned situation and under Chapters 38.08, 38.52, and 43.06 RCW, do hereby proclaim that a State of Emergency exists in the State of Washington, and direct the plans and procedures to the Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan be implemented. State agencies and departments are directed to utilize state resources and to do everything reasonably possible to assist affected political subdivisions in an effort to respond to and recover from the event.
I also hereby waive the driver hours of service rules adopted by WAC 480-31-130, as they apply to drivers operating trucks hauling bulk milk intrastate from farms to dairy processing facilities, and interplant between dairies and between processing facilities, for a period of 10 days from the date of this proclamation. Pursuant to federal regulations, this emergency proclamation suspends the federal rules limiting the driver hours of service for this 10-day period. I ask the milk bulk carrier industry to use their best judgment in delivering their products in a manner that ensures public safety during this period.
I also hereby order into active state service the organized militia of Washington State to include the National Guard and the State Guard, or such part thereof as may be necessary in the opinion of the Adjutant General, to perform such duties as directed by competent authority of the Washington Military Department. Additionally, the Washington State Military Department, Emergency Management Division is instructed to coordinate all event-related assistance to the affected areas.
Signed and sealed with the official seal of the state of Washington this 24th day of December A.D, Two Thousand and Eight at Olympia, Washington.
|Christine O. Gregoire
|BY THE GOVERNOR:|
|Secretary of State|