On Tuesday, Snohomish County toured locations damaged by December floods with state and federal emergency management officials, impressing upon them the need for financial assistance.
Since flooding in December, Snohomish County’s Department of Emergency Management has been collecting reports that now total about $4 million in public and private damages.
Tuesday’s tour was a chance for officials with the state’s Emergency Management Division and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to see damage firsthand as they determine whether to pursue federal flood assistance.
“We believe the damage to Snohomish County infrastructure warrants assistance,” said Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon, who issued an emergency declaration as the Stillaguamish River and its branches reached record flood levels in December. The raging waters impacted several communities in Granite Falls, Arlington, Stanwood and unincorporated Snohomish County.
“We owe it to our residents to push for financial assistance from the state and FEMA,” Reardon said.
Reardon immediately contacted the governor’s office in December as floodwaters began receding. He also sent Gov. Chris Gregoire a letter encouraging the state to act on behalf of residents in Snohomish County and throughout the Puget Sound, parts of which also suffered flood damage.
In the meantime, the county approved a fee waiver for disposal of flood debris at county transfer stations and drop boxes through April 13. Residents first need to obtain a voucher before taking materials to the transfer station or drop box.
“We are doing all that we can to help families return to a sense of normalcy,” Reardon said. “Now state and federal investigators have to decide how they can assist Snohomish County and its residents.”