dj Jay Inslee

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

OLYMPIA — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday waived motor carrier rules to allow truckers to drive longer hours to deliver feed to dairies, which have had grain supplies disrupted by floods this week in northwest Washington.

Flooding in Whatcom County has closed one livestock feed producer, while closed roads are increasing delivery times, according to the governor's office.

Truckers are taking longer routes and coming from farther away to deliver feed. The governor's office said it was concerned that as many as 60,000 dairy cows in Western and Central Washington were at risk of not receiving feed.

The flooding and interruption in the feed supply has forced dairy farmers to search for new suppliers. "I think the farmers are trying to think outside the box," Whatcom County dairy farmer Rich Appel said.

The emergency proclamation applies to 14 counties and expires Dec. 18. The governor's office advised truckers to carry a copy of the proclamation.

"I ask the motor carries for the agricultural industry to use their best judgment in operating under the exemption in a manner that encourages public-health safety," Inslee stated in the proclamation.

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