PRESS RELEASE FROM WASHINGTON COUNTY DISASTER SERVICES
JANUARY 18, 2017
STEVE DOMBY, COORDINATOR; STEVE PENNER, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
RE: EMERGENCY DECLARATION
On January 17, 2017 the Washington County Commissioners passed Resolution 17-02 declaring a local disaster emergency in the county. A copy of the resolution is available from the county or at their website at http://co.washington.id.us/ .
In light of record snowfall and the possibility of flooding through the spring, an emergency declaration was filed as required by law. It is in force for 90 days.
This emergency declaration gives the county greater flexibility in responding to the emergency as it develops. Essentially it allows the county to go beyond its rules, regulations and laws in order to provide needed resources and manpower. For instance, the acquisition of certain resources would require a bidding process that would usually take weeks. The emergency declaration allows these resources to be acquired immediately without the usual process. This flexibility also allows the allocation of funds from other budgets within the county. It can also facilitate private contracting as needed.
It is also important to have an emergency declaration in place in order to access aid from the state of Idaho and the federal government. Grants, low interest loans, material help and manpower are only available from these resources after a county declares an emergency.
In another matter, the county is making sand and sand bags available to residents who have problems with nuisance flooding. These resources are available at the Boyer building at the corner of West 2nd and Commercial streets. Residents can fill as many bags as needed to block basement windows, stairwells or any place where melting snow might damage private property. As needed, sites in Midvale and Cambridge will be opened at a later date.
RESOLUTION No. 17-02
WHEREAS, WASHINGTON COUNTY, IDAHO, a political subdivision of the State of Idaho, has found it necessary to have an Emergency Declaration of Washington County; and
WHEREAS, Idaho Code 46-1011 allows the Chairman of the Board of Washington County Commissioners to declare a local disaster emergency; and
WHEREAS, Idaho Code 46-1002(2) defines disaster as the “imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property resulting from any natural or manmade cause….; and
WHEREAS, as a result of record snowfall and the potential for additional precipitation in the form of snow or rain, which combined may result in a risk to public safety and property in Washington County; and
WHEREAS, it is anticipated that FLOOD WATERS may cause damage to structures, roadways, infrastructure, public utilities, and other lines of communication; and
WHEREAS, a disaster emergency declaration activates the response and recovery aspects of applicable local or intergovernmental disaster emergency plans for the furnishing of aid and assistance; and
WHEREAS, Idaho Code 46-1002(3) provides that an emergency includes the imminent threat of a “disaster” or condition threatening life or property which requires state emergency assistance to supplement local efforts to protect property or avert or lessen the threat of “disaster,” and
WHEREAS, an emergency exists because of the likely continued hazardous winter weather and the potential need for state emergency assistance to supplement local efforts to protect life and property; and
WHEREAS, an emergency declaration must be filed with the Washington County Recorder and “given prompt and general publicity.”
That this Local Disaster Emergency Flood Declaration (“Declaration”) shall expire within 90 days unless the Board of Washington County Commissioners expressly authorizes the continuance of such Declaration; and
That this Declaration shall be promptly filed with the Washington County Recorder’s Office; and
That prompt and general publicity shall be given by a press release notifying the public of this Declaration.
APPROVED AND ADOPTED this 17th day of January, 2017.
Chairman, Washington County Board of Commissioners
Kirk Chandler, Chairman
Betty J. Thomas, Clerk