Gov. Inslee seeks federal disaster assistance after tough winter

OLYMPIA, Wash. --- Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee submitted a request to the White House asking the president to approve the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s public assistance program.

The money would go to the 15 counties impacted by severe winter storms from Jan. 30 through Feb. 22 this year, including in Adams, Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Grant, King, Lewis, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Spokane, Snohomish, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, and Whatcom counties.

“These winter storms caused injuries, power outages impacting 100,000 customers, and other significant disruptions around the state,” said Inslee in a release. “Cleaning up and repairing damages will take months to years, and our local communities will benefit greatly from federal assistance.”

Inslee said the severe weather, flooding, winds and wildfires cost the state more than $323 million since January of 2015, with the government providing $155 million in disaster assistance to and emergency aid to various Washington government organizations.

Much of the damage Inslee notes in the joint state-FEMA preliminary damage assessment happened in late March after a freeze-thaw cycle severely damaged the roads.

More than 750 local and state roads were damaged, and storms closed all three Cascade Mountain passes for multiple days, which impacted cross-state commercial trucking.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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