Gov. Inslee requests more federal disaster assistance for the 530 Landslide

Gov. Jay Inslee has made an additional request of President Obama for federal disaster assistance. In his letter to the President late on March 31, the governor asked for public assistance programs to be added to his earlier request for a Major Disaster Declaration in Snohomish County due to the March 22 Landslide.

“I expect the President will respond to my initial request quickly,” Inslee said. “In the meantime, we will continue our efforts to secure additional federal assistance. The landslide and upstream flooding it caused brought down death and destruction on these tight-knit communities in Snohomish County. These are our friends and neighbors and we’re racing to help repair their roads and other public facilities in the Stillaguamish Valley. If the president acts on this request, we can help do the job even faster.”

This is the latest of three earlier requests from Governor Inslee.

On March 24, the governor submitted a request for a federal emergency declaration that was approved within hours. That approval provided direct support in the form of an incident support team, program specialists, and an Incident Management Assistance team.On March 27, Governor Inslee requested an expansion of that declaration that was approved the next day and means the federal government will reimburse a portion of the costs accrued to provide emergency protective measures and response.Governor Inslee’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration on March 31 asked for a number of programs that will assist individuals, households, and businesses impacted by the 530 Landslide.

The governor’s latest request for public assistance programs pointed out that the impact of these damages is magnified because the disaster hit smaller rural counties with limited resources. His letter stated, “I anticipate the need for debris removal, which poses an immediate threat to lives.” The governor also noted that, “I request direct federal assistance for work and services to save lives and protect property.”

Preliminary state and federal damage assessments found an estimated $32.1 million in eligible damage caused by the landslide and flooding.

Specifically, the governor’s new letter of request asked the president to make the following Public Assistance programs available in Snohomish County, and to the Sauk-Suiattle, Stillaguamish and Tulalip Indian Tribes:

Debris Clearance (Category A) on public roads, waterways, other public property and private property should local government decide to offer that service. Emergency Protective Measures (Category B) to protect life, safety, property and health such as barricades, sand bags and safety personnel.

If approved by President Obama, the combined declaration would bring a full complement of disaster individual and public assistance programs to the people of Snohomish County. The resulting Federal Emergency Management Agency grants will defray 75 percent of the eligible damages and costs.


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