WHEREAS, a section of the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River in Skagit County collapsed on May 23, 2013, closing the Interstate in both directions, requiring implementation of detours through adjacent neighborhood roadways, causing extensive disruption of the primary north and south bound transportation route through Western Washington, and impacting our citizens, businesses and economy in Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom Counties; and
The estimated cost to repair the bridge is $15,000,000. Repairs and necessary interstate highway closures require the approval of Washington’s Secretary of Transportation, and the Washington State Department of Transportation is coordinating resources and working to implement damage repairs. These emergency conditions warrant closure of affected roadways for a significant period and implementation of emergency procurement procedures to hire a contractor to repair the damage; and
The roadway damage and its effects continue to impact the life and health of our citizens, as well as the property and transportation infrastructure of Washington State, all of which affect life, health, property, or the public peace, and constitute a public disaster demanding immediate action; and
The Washington State Military Department has activated the state Emergency Operations Center, implemented response procedures, and is coordinating resources to support local officials in alleviating the immediate social and economic impacts to people, property, and infrastructure, and is continuing to assess the magnitude of the event.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jay R. Inslee, Governor of the state of Washington, as a result of the above-noted situation and under Chapter 38.52 and 43.06 RCW, do hereby proclaim that a State of Emergency exists in Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom Counties in the state of Washington, and direct the plans and procedures in 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. As a result of this event, the Washington State Military Department, Emergency Management Division, is instructed to coordinate all incident-related assistance to the affected areas.