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Inslee signs emergency proclamation for 19 counties regarding heat damage

Governor Inslee triggered the Comprehensive Emergency Plans by signing the proclamation which will allow for local coordination to assist with damage quickly.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee signed two proclamations on Friday relating to the climate crisis.

Proclamation 21-12 declares an emergency in 19 counties in Washington after significant heat damage to roads and infrastructure. 

By signing the proclamation, Governor Inslee triggered the Comprehensive Emergency Plans which allows for local coordination to assist with damage quickly.

Counties included in the emergency proclamation are Adams, Asotin, Clark, Cowlitz, Douglas, Ferry, Grant, King, Kittitas, Okanagan, Pacific, Pend Oreille, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, Whatcom, Whitman and Yakima.

Inslee cited that he was enacting the proclamation due to unprecedented heat-caused failures to concrete panels, bridge expansion joints, and asphalt, as well as electrical damage requiring repairs over a large geographic area.

The Washington Department of Transportation said it discovered more heat-related issues with pavement in the Spokane area.

In a tweet Thursday afternoon, the department said crews have identified areas where the pavement has lifted. The locations include westbound I-90 off-ramp to Lincoln Street, eastbound Highway 2 off-ramp to eastbound I-90 and I-90 eastbound Liberty Lake off-ramp.

There have also been road issues in Whitman county where crews are having to repair multiple locations of pavement on US 195 between milepost 58 and 60. Near Colfax, the pavement was buckling on Highway 195 at milepost 57 near Thornton. 

The estimated cost for these repairs of affected roadways to alleviate impacts on public safety exceeds $2,600,000, according to the Office of The Governor.

Inslee also explains that state agencies and departments should utilize state resources and do everything reasonably possible to assist affected subdivisions to help recover from the heat-related incident. 

In addition to the emergency proclamation regarding heat damage in 19 counties, he also signed a proclamation today amending the Wildfire/Burn Ban proclamation which would suspend the statutory truck driver hour limitations additionally.