Governor declares emergency for 15 counties after storms

Gov. Chris Gregoire proclaimed a state of emergency for 15 Eastern Washington counties Monday after a series of storms starting July 13 caused power outages, fuel shortages and road closures.

The counties affected: Adams, Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Jefferson, Kitsap, Kittitas, Klickitat, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Walla Walla and Yakima.

The proclamation directs state agencies "to do everything reasonably possible to assist affected political subdivisions in an effort to respond to and recover from the event."

"This was a significant storm system that has not only impacted our roads and utilities, but sadly led to a storm-related death in Ferry County," Gregoire said in a news release.

Agencies involved include the state Departments of Transportation, Commerce, Natural Resources, Social and Health Services and Military, the Washington State Patrol and Consolidated Technology Services.

The Washington State Military Department, Emergency Management Division, is instructed to coordinate all incident-related assistance to the affected areas.