This press release was just sent out by Governor Pawlenty's office.
Saint Paul – Governor Pawlenty signed an emergency executive order today declaring a peacetime emergency and activating the State Emergency Operations Center. The Governor has directed all state agencies to provide necessary assistance to help local, state and federal units of government respond and recover from the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge spanning the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. The emergency executive order will remain in effect until the conclusion of the emergency.
The following is the text of Emergency Executive Order 07-09:
I, TIM PAWLENTY, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the applicable statutes, do hereby issue this Executive Order:
WHEREAS, on August 1, 2007 at approximately 6:05 pm, the Interstate 35W bridge spanning the Mississippi collapsed totally destroying the bridge; and
WHEREAS, the catastrophic collapse of the bridge caused significant injuries and loss of life; and
WHEREAS, the response to the collapse has involved City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, and other local, state and federal emergency response agencies; and
WHEREAS, significant local, state and federal resources are needed to continue recovery efforts, investigate the cause of the collapse and respond to the continuing needs of the victims of the collapse and infrastructure needs of the City of Minneapolis, the state and the nation; and
NOW, THEREFORE, I hereby order that:
A peacetime emergency under Minnesota Statutes, Section 12.21 exists as a result of the collapse of the bridge effective 6:05 p.m. CST. The damage caused by the collapse of the bridge also meets the definition of a disaster as defined in Minnesota Statutes, Section 12.03, Subdivision 2.
The Department of Public Safety, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will open the State Emergency Operations Center and continue activation of the Minnesota Emergency Operations Plan, including the provision of on-site support and assistance to the affected local governments.
All state agencies are directed to provide the assistance necessary to help local, state and federal units of government respond to and recover from this emergency.
The extent of the damage to Interstate 35W, impact on the governments, employers, and residents of the city, county and state are severe and constitute an emergency contemplated by the terms of 23 U.S.C. 120(e) and 125.
Damage to Interstate 35W, a Federal aid highway, is extensive and significantly impairs the transportation infrastructure of the city, county and State such that immediate repairs and rebuilding are vital to the security, well-being, health and commerce of the residents of the Sate of Minnesota.
I request that the Secretary of Transportation, or other appropriate federal highway official, concur in the declaration of this emergency.
The Department of Public Safety, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and other state agencies are directed to work with local and federal officials to determine the need for supplemental federal assistance and take all actions necessary to obtain needed assistance.
All state agencies are directed to provide support, assistance and cooperation as requested by the National Transportation Safety Board, which has been identified as the lead agency investigating the cause of the bridge collapse.
Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 2006, 4.035, Subdivision 2, this emergency executive order shall be effective immediately and will remain in effect until the conclusion of the emergency.