Newhouse Requests State of Emergency Proclamation in Response to Rattlesnake Ridge Landslide

January 12, 2018
Press Release
Newhouse to receive briefing and tour landslide site on Saturday

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) sent a letter requesting Washington State Governor Jay Inslee to issue a proclamation declaring a state of emergency for Yakima County given the continued degradation of conditions near Union Gap at Rattlesnake Ridge. In the letter, Rep. 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.

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 continued in the letter: “As we continue to see reports of falling rock and land movement of over one and a half feet per week, there should be great concern for the residents’ well-being in the area. I was pleased to see on January 10, 2018 that Yakima County and the City of Union Gap made the decision in taking the precautionary steps by declaring a disaster area because of the deteriorating conditions.”

Newhouse continued in the letter: “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.

Click here to read the entire letter to Governor Inslee.

Additionally, on Saturday, January 13th, Rep. Newhouse will receive a briefing at the Yakima Valley Emergency Operations Center and tour the Rattlesnake Ridge site with local emergency management officials.