Gov. Inslee visits devastated Malden, promises to ask for federal aid

MALDEN, Wash.–Malden is starting over, now having to rebuild homes, post offices, grocery stores from piles of ash and rubble.

“It’s just gonna take a little time of course, and people have been slowly coming back to check out their places and hearts are breaking,” Malden Mayor Chris Farrell said.

Ferrell is now dealt the task of leading this rebuild, and she’s calling on state and federal officials for help.

“We need to get assistance to those families that don’t have any money,” Farrell said.

Governor Jay Inslee paid Malden a visit Thursday and brought some relief with him by freeing up some money to give families much needed cash.

The governor also called in a DSHS truck to give families resources like food and clothing. He said the people of Malden lost much more than money when their homes burned down Monday.

“It is a theft of your family’s history, of your heirlooms, your pictures, your trophies,” Inslee said.

Inslee said the next step is applying for federal money. They’ll look at the damage done in Malden, and if the federal government think it’s severe enough, they they may hand over some money.

“We hope the administration will look kindly on Washington,” Inslee said.

Inslee said it’s not a guarantee to get that federal aid, and it may take a few weeks to know if it’s approved.

The state was denied money for a similar disaster in Okanogan County back in 2014.

“I just hope we get the approval,” Farrell said. “Some of our people might not come back if that’s the case.”

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers also got a first-hand look at Malden’s damage today, and she said she’ll help create that proposal.

“To see what happened in the town of Malden is nothing like I’ve ever seen,” she said.

Local and state leaders are committed to getting Malden back to normal again.

Inslee even made promises for renovation projects, like connecting a trail from Malden to Rosalia.

“This is gonna be a great tourist destination next summer,” Inslee said.

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