Governor Inslee requests FEMA assistance for burned rail bridge in Prosser

Yakima River Railroad Bridge Catches On Fire Between Benton City, Prosser

PROSSER, Wash. — Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has requested assistance from the Federal Government after a critical rail bridge burned in a wildfire in September.

On October 8, Governor Inslee wrote a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):

I request that you declare a Major Disaster for the state of Washington as a result of severe drought and the extensive damages incurred by extreme fire behavior and straight-line winds beginning September 1 through September 19, 2020…In Benton County, a nearly 100-year-old railroad bridge was fully engulfed in flames and destroyed by one of the many rapidly moving wildfires. Firefighters were focused on saving lives and people’s homes and were not able to save the structure…which spanned the Yakima River. The historic bridge was used as a critical transportation corridor to ship agricultural products in the region.

The Washington State Short Line Railroad Coalition said that this has impacted many shippers throughout the Port of Sunnyside, Port of Grandview, and Port of Benton.

The bridge crossed the Yakima River in the area of W Gibbon Rd. and W Old Inland Empire Hwy.