Governor asks president to declare King County as disaster area

February 28, 2012

By Staff

Gov. Chris Gregoire asked President Barack Obama on Feb. 24 to declare a federal disaster area in King County and 10 other Washington counties for damages and response costs from January storms.

If the declaration is approved, Issaquah and other governments could defray 75 percent of eligible disaster-related costs — such as debris removal — by using Federal Emergency Management Agency public assistance grants.

The cost of storm response and cleanup reached $530,000 for Issaquah municipal government. Officials used the dollars to put snowplows on Issaquah streets in 24-hour stretches, clear fallen trees and haul off debris.

If a disaster declaration occurs, city officials said about $383,000 in costs related to the storms could be eligible for reimbursement through FEMA.

Preliminary state and federal damage assessments estimated $32.3 million in potential eligible damage across the state caused by snow, freezing rain, power outages, rain, fallen trees and limbs, avalanches, falling ice, landslides and storm debris.

Gregoire proclaimed a winter storm emergency in the state Jan. 18.

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