Governor Kitzhaber declares emergency due to severe winter weather
Declaration positions counties to receive immediate state assistance and seek federal aid if eligible
(Salem, OR) - Governor Kitzhaber today declared a state of emergency and authorized the use of state resources for the rapid and effective response to recent storms and flooding.
"The return of severe winter weather has overwhelmed communities across our state," said Governor Kitzhaber. "My priority is to ensure the safety of all Oregonians and their properties. With this emergency declaration, I have directed all available state resources to help affected counties in any way possible."
The initial Governor's declaration will include Marion, Coos, Benton, and Lincoln Counties. Other counties are anticipated to be added to the declaration at a later time.
Snowmelt has combined with heavy rains to flood communities across Oregon. Several communities have had to evacuate and Red Cross shelters have been set up across western Oregon.
By declaring a state of emergency, the Governor has directed the Oregon Military Department and Office of Emergency Management to coordinate all requests for state assistance from affected counties. This declaration was made verbally today at 3:36 pm.
The Governor encourages all citizens to use extreme caution while driving in affected areas. If you are safe at home, stay there and avoid putting yourself at risk. Follow and heed all warnings from local officials and emergency workers.
Tim Raphael, 503-689-6117
Amy Wojcicki, 503-689-5324