Governor Jay Inslee sent a request December 17 for President Joe Biden to declare November’s flooding and severe weather a federal emergency major disaster.
With a 50-plus page assessment of the damage caused by the series of severe winter storms, high winds, flooding, landslides and mudslides, Inslee asked Biden for an individual assistance program for Whatcom, Skagit and Clallam counties as well as Lummi Nation, the Nooksack Indian Tribe and the Quileute Tribe. If granted, these nations and local governments would gain access to a wide range of federal assistance programs to help recover from the damage incurred in
A letter in support of the governor’s request and signed by all U.S. senators and representatives from Washington was sent to the president December 22.
In Whatcom County, emergency support workers and volunteers continue to aid those affected by the storms. A county situation report released December 17, conducted by the Whatcom Unified Emergency Operations Center, said 183 people from 54 households remain in temporary housing.
As for roads affected in the area, Birch Bay-Lynden Road, which had a 40-foot section washed out after a California Creek culvert failed, repair is awaiting a weather window so that county crews can install a pipe for creek passage, according to the public works website. Public works expects emergency repairs to finish mid- to late-January. Its contractor has removed the washed-out roadway from the creek and started pulling back the slopes.
The slide on Drayton Harbor Road at the Shintaffer Road intersection is a lower priority for final repairs because of low traffic volumes, according to the public works website. Public works staff are working with a geotechnical engineer to assess the condition and safety of the slope and hope to open the road to single lane traffic as soon as safety and slope stability permit.
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