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Oregon governor declares state of emergency due to severe winter weather

The Oregon State Capitol in Salem.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown today declared a state of emergency lasting through Jan. 3 because of projected severe winter weather across the state.

This weather is expected to bring heavy snow and sustained temperatures below freezing, resulting in critical transportation failures and disruptions to power and communications infrastructure. The National Weather Service has issued multiple winter storm watches, warnings, and winter weather advisories throughout the state.

"Our state has experienced a number of climate-related emergencies this year, and with another coming, I urge all Oregonians to make a plan with your family now and be prepared,” Brown said in a press release sent out Thursday evening..

The governor has directed state agencies to work proactively with local emergency management partners to coordinate on communications for emergency services, such as warming centers.

“Winter storms mean increased risk for those traveling as well as those staying home for the holidays. Check on your neighbors and loved ones when you can do so safely. If road conditions worsen, please help our first responders by staying home when possible,” Brown also stressed.

Oregon Revised Statutes, section 401.165, pertains to emergency declarations by the governor.

Brown determined a potential threat to life, safety, property, and significant damage to infrastructure exists due to severe winter weather across Oregon.

The Governor's declaration authorizes the Oregon Office of Emergency Management to activate state resources and to utilize personnel, equipment, and facilities from other state agencies in order to respond to or mitigate the effects of the weather emergency.

In addition, the Oregon National Guard, Oregon State Police, Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon Department of Human Services, and the Oregon Public Utility Commission and other state agencies are directed to provide any assistance as requested by OEM that is deemed necessary to assist in the response.