Gov. Jay Inslee submitted a request to the White House for a major disaster declaration and financial assistance to help 15 counties recover from the impacts of severe winter storms that hit the state January 30 through February 22.
The letter said snow, ice, rain, high winds, flooding, landslides, and mudslides caused major damage in Adams, Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Grant, King, Lewis, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Spokane, Snohomish, Wahkiakum, Wall Walla, and Whatcom counties.
“These winter storms caused injuries, power outages impacting 100,000 customers, and other significant disruptions around the state,” said Inslee. “Cleaning up and repairing damages will take months to years, and our local communities will benefit greatly from federal assistance.”
Much of the damage identified was to roads. A freeze-thaw cycle caused significant damage to foundations, pavement and drainage systems to more than 750 local and state roadways. In addition, storms closed all three Cascade Mountain passes – Interstate 90 Snoqualmie Pass, US 2 Steven Pass and US 12 White Pass – for multiple days, disrupting cross-state commercial trucking.
If the president agrees to the governor’s request, this storm would be the fifth major disaster declared in the state in less than two years.
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