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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Sanchez

Central and Eastern Washington disconnected from Western Washington leaving store shelves empty

Safeway Dairy Section Moses Lake

- Moses Lake, WA

As winter storms ripped through the state last Thursday into Saturday dumping more than a foot of snow in parts of Central Washington and over three feat in the Cascades brought the closure of all mountain passes across the state of Washington and Oregon disconnecting the western region of the state from the central and eastern regions.

Because of the closure of the Cascade mountains the only option is to go north through the Trans Canadian Highway 1 in British Columbia however with COVID-19 Vaccinations and a negative COVID test as entry requirements most drivers don’t have this option and are required to wait out the closures. This is forcing hardware stores, restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores to use up current supplies to their limits unable to replenish supplies they need to operate along with leaving their shelves bare with supplies unable to be delivered and re stocked.

On Saturday Governor Inslee extended the Weather Emergency Proclamation for commercial drivers waiving commercial driver hours for drivers who are collecting or delivering essential supplies and services. This extension lasts until January 14th 2022. Inslee amended the order to help provide clear direct assistance and emergency relief to drivers, businesses, and cities affected by winter weather. The main goal of the extended waiver is to get trucks containing emergency supplies to those in need as soon as possible, while still giving drivers deserved and appreciate pay for their long work hours. According to the Governor longer work hours will not be permitted to those delivering emergency services, and goods with the exemption.

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, Snoqualmie and Blewett Passes are scheduled to reopen Sunday night however this will only be to trucks to get supplies over the Cascades, general travel will not be permitted.

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