WA: 15 counties are primary natural disaster areas

By:  Staff Writer
Source: The Kitsap Sun

SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Agriculture Department has designated 15 Washington  counties as primary natural disaster areas due to extreme weather conditions in  the first seven months of 2011.

Sen. Maria Cantwell says farmers in those areas are eligible to apply for  USDA emergency assistance.

The counties are: Clallam, Clark, Franklin, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap,  Klickitat, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Stevens, Wahkiakum, Whatcom and  Yakima.

Agricultural losses were caused by the combined effects of excessive rain,  flooding, below-normal temperatures, high winds, frosts and freezes. Tree  fruits, vegetables, grapes, hay and wheat were particularly affected.

Cantwell and Sen. Patty Murray wrote to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in  support of Gov. Chris Gregoire's request for disaster designations.