Feds Declare 13 WA Counties Disaster Areas Due to Harsh Winter
Gov. Inslee's office announced Friday the Trump Administration has granted a disaster declaration for 13 Washington state counties, due to the damage caused by the harsh winter, excessive snow, followed by rain, melting runoff and other other factors that caused hundreds of millions in damages.
According to the information sent to the Federal Government, at least $323 million dollars damage was done to infrastructure among the state's 39 counties. 13 were deemed the hardest hit, including Benton, Franklin, Adams, Columbia, Walla Walla, Grant, Lincoln and Spokane in Eastern WA.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be directing the startup of programs that will grant up to 75 percent of funding needed to repair infrastructure, including roads and other travel ways.
The thaw-freeze cycles plus rain we had caused cracking and washouts to at least some 750 roads and important highways across the area. The closure of all the main Cascade Mountain passes for extended periods of time, said the Governor's office, also caused significant disruptions to commerce across the state.