Salem, Ore — Governor Tina Kotek has declared a statewide emergency in Oregon due to the extensive damages caused by a severe ice storm affecting multiple counties. This declaration, made in response to urgent requests from affected counties on the 6th day of severe impacts, aims to facilitate a coordinated response and recovery effort.
The severe ice storm has left thousands across the state grappling with power outages, transportation challenges, and various safety concerns. Governor Kotek emphasized the collaborative effort with counties in assessing needs, including the crucial unlocking of federal resources accessible through a statewide emergency declaration.
Local emergency response efforts have been underway, with cities and counties turning to the state for additional support as resources become strained. The Oregon Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Governor’s Office have been in constant communication with impacted counties, addressing emerging issues and working to fill gaps.
State emergency declarations play a pivotal role in enabling counties to access federal resources, including support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These resources cover a range of assets, such as federal infrastructure support for highways, telecommunications, and power system recovery, enhancing responders’ capabilities during the crisis.
Currently, Multnomah County, Lincoln County, Washington County, Hood River County, and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians have declared a local state of emergency, receiving support from the state’s agencies, including OEM, the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).
In response to the storm’s impact on food supplies, ODHS announced measures for SNAP beneficiaries to replace lost benefits. Individuals affected by power outages or storm damage can inquire about replacement benefits through designated channels within 10 days of the loss.
For those seeking shelter during the storm, a comprehensive list of warming shelters across the state is available. Additional resources and guidance for winter storms and carbon monoxide poisoning have been published by OHA. Oregonians facing storm-related insurance issues can contact the Department of Consumer and Business Services for assistance and advocacy. Governor Kotek assures ongoing updates and support for the affected communities.