Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Obama signs flood disaster declaration for Washington County

President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration that approves federal disaster aid for Washington County communities damaged by flash flooding in September. The president’s signature clears the way for Federal Emergency Management Agency officials to assess the damages from the Sept. 11 flood caused by burst dike in Tuacahn Wash. It makes federal funding available to state, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for recovery efforts. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

The dam failure led to the immediate flooding of 61 homes and 16 businesses; however those damages did not reach FEMA’s minimum threshold for assistance to private citizens. A number of private fundraisers and the charitable response of businesses has helped gather money to mitigate residents’ costs.

The FEMA assistance approved Saturday should pave the way for the retention dam to be rebuilt and for additional repairs to public infrastructure. The Spectrum