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County swamped with road closures

Kitsap County government hardly started its day on Monday morning before rain closed several roads leading in and out of South Kitsap. The decision to close the government was made before noon, with the county commissioners declaring a state of emergency for Kitsap County.

“Public safety is our number one concern and while we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, we don’t want anyone to risk traveling during these dangerous conditions,” Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown said in a statement.

County Spokesperson Doug Bear said there were at least 100 different roads were restricted or impassable by water conditions throughout the county. Some, like those around Gorst, were expected to become more accessible during low tide.

Bear, who has worked for the county for 20 years, said this week’s rain “is the worst that I have ever seen.”

Bear said there was nothing that people could do but attempt to stay safe as they weather the storm. He added that preparation for such a disaster was impossible.

“A rainfall like this, from six to ten inches already, is of record proportions,” Bear said. “So no matter what you did ahead of time wouldn’t have made any difference.”

Bear said the Red Cross was setting up several shelters throughout the county as of Monday afternoon.

At press time there was no way to get from Central Kitsap to South Kitsap, although traffic was flowing north. The Bremerton-Seattle ferry was reportedly delayed, but the foot ferry between Bremerton and Annapolis was in operation and running on a regular basis.

The Kitsap County Commissioners also postponed their regular Monday meeting, during which the county budget was among the topics due for discussion. The meeting, with the same agenda, is now scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight at the Kitsap County Administration Building in Port Orchard.

The county updated its road closure information several times Monday, and will continue to do so as long as necessary. To access the most current road closure information go to http://www.kitsapgov.com/pw/roadwork.htm.

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