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Inslee statement on federal disaster declaration

Gov. Jay Inslee today commended the Biden Administration, which approved Inslee’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration and agreed to provide federal assistance to help those impacted by last November’s historic floods.

“I met personally with many families who lost their homes and livelihoods,” Inslee said. “The amount of help necessary to get these people back on their feet exceeds what the state can provide. I’m pleased President Biden recognized this and approved our request for this critical support.”

After the state’s Emergency Management Division coordinated preliminary damage assessments in December, 300 homes in Northwest Washington were identified to have sustained serious damage, among other damages. Inslee sent a letter to a top official with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Dec. 17th requesting FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program for Clallam, Skagit and Whatcom Counties, as well as for the federally recognized Lummi Nation, Nooksack Indian Tribe and Quileute Tribe.

With this approval, financial and direct services are made available to eligible individuals and households affected by the weather event who have uninsured or underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Teams have also conducted preliminary damage assessments to help develop a request for FEMA’s Public Assistance program. That formal request will likely be sent to FEMA officials by the end of the week. If approved for PA, FEMA reimburses state and local governments and certain types of private nonprofit organizations for the cost of disaster-related debris removal, emergency protective measures to protect life and property, and permanent repair work to damaged or destroyed infrastructure.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621- 3362. If you use a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.


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