Rep. Dan Newhouse is urging Governor Jay Inslee to issue a proclamation declaring a state of emergency for Yakima County over conditions near Union Gap at Rattlesnake Ridge. In a letter, Newhouse pledged to work with the Governor to ensure that federal assistance and resources to the Yakima Valley can be provided as quickly as possible following a potentially catastrophic landslide.
Newhouse will get a first hand briefing at the Yakima Valley Emergency Operations Center and tour the Rattlesnake Ridge site with local emergency management officials on Saturday
Rep. Newhouse stated in the letter: “As you may know, the Valley is home to over 200,000 residents as well as the thousands of commuters to and from the area. Included within the affected area is the Yakima River, which provides invaluable resources to the region from recreation to farmland irrigation. Also, Interstate 82 (I-82), a vital transportation artery, is in the direct path for those who live in the region and who use I-82 on a daily basis. Any disruption to the Valley’s transportation or water infrastructure poses devastating effects for the State and the region’s overall economy.”
Newhouse added: “I strongly encourage that you take these considerations into account and not delay your state of emergency declaration for Yakima County. Additionally, this declaration is vital for any federal response that may be needed. Your declaration is critical to ensuring a quick emergency response and management of the site in the direct path of this potential landslide activity. I appreciate your effort for taking the time to visit the site and look forward to working with you on this matter.”