Gov. Jay Inslee this morning issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s approval of a Major Disaster Declaration that provides federal financial assistance to three counties impacted by an August windstorm:
“The winds that blew through the Pacific Northwest this summer were some of the worst on record. A considerable number of downed trees led to power outages, road closures and significant damage to our transportation and public utility infrastructure. Local jurisdictions suffered more than $10 million in damages, with more than half of that in Snohomish County alone. I appreciate the president’s quick response to this request and am confident it will help expedite the recovery process. I also appreciate the support of Washington’s congressional delegation throughout this process.
“We also need similar assistance for those impacted by this summer’s record wildfires that burned more than 1 million acres in Eastern Washington. I spoke with the president personally about this when he was in Seattle last week and urged him to approve the request I submitted earlier this month. Our communities are still working to fully recover from the disastrous 2014 fire season. State, tribal and local jurisdictions are doing everything possible to help our residents get back on their feet but we’re stretched thin. I look forward to hearing from the president soon.”
The president’s declaration announced yesterday makes the Public Assistance program available for Island, Jefferson and Snohomish Counties, which will help offset the costs of emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities due to the windstorm. Additional counties may be eligible at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by results of further damage assessments.