Gregoire Thanks Obama for Speedy Disaster Declaration

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Gov. Chris Gregoire today thanked President Obama for his timely approval of a disaster declaration for public infrastructure damages and emergency response costs in 11 Washington counties suffered during January’s severe winter storm.

I am very pleased that the President and the Federal Emergency Management Agency recognized the urgency of our request, and is providing much needed financial assistance, we made it clear how our counties were negatively impacted by the January storm. The damage left behind placed a heavy financial burden on many of our cities and counties during an already difficult economic time. –  Gov. Chris Gregoire

Surveys by state and federal in mid-February found more than $32.3 million in eligible public agency damages and costs. The surveys also determined there was insufficient eligible damage to support a federal disaster declaration for homes and businesses in the state.
This federal disaster declaration will help repair public facility damage and defray emergency response costs in 11 counties—Clallam, Grays Harbor, King, Klickitat, Lewis, Mason, Pierce, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston and Wahkiakum.

The declaration will allow FEMA to pay up to 75 percent of the eligible disaster-related costs, such as repair or replacement of property, debris removal and emergency protective measures, this funding will be very important to local governments because it will speed recovery from January’s severe winter weather and ease the budget burdens created by emergency response work and storm clean-up. –  Gov. Chris Gregoire