Whatcom County residents and business owners continue to address the November 2021 flooding impacts, as infrastructure still needs to be repaired and federal disaster assistance applications continue to be submitted.
$1.5 million given statewide for flooding
Within the first week of FEMA applications opening, FEMA and the Washington Military Department’s Emergency Management Division gave $1.5 million in federal grants to Washington residents impacted by the November floods. The funding became available after President Joe Biden declared the November 2021 flooding a major disaster in Washington state on January 5.
FEMA assistance helps uninsured residents pay for flooding expenses. People can apply for assistance at disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800/621-3362.
Business recovery center opens in Everson
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Washington Small Business Development Center opened a business recovery center in Everson to help businesses impacted by the November floods.
The center opened January 18 in the Everson Mercantile Building, at 128 West Main Street. The center will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; no appointment necessary.
Advisors will be available to explain the SBA disaster loan program and options for business owners.
Businesses have a deadline of March 7 to apply for property damage and an October 5 deadline to apply for economic injury. Business owners may apply for disaster loan assistance at the center or online at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s.
Sumas Library recovery fund
The Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) has stated a fund to pay for flooding damages the Sumas library sustained that won’t be covered by insurance. The WCLS estimated in a January 18 news release that the Sumas Library Recovery Fund will need $50,000 to help the Sumas library that had its books, equipment and furniture destroyed.
The library building is still closed, but the WCLS is providing curbside pickup of library materials.
The Friends of the Blaine Library donated $1,000 to the fund, according to the WCLS.
“We are extremely grateful that insurance will cover the majority of the flood-related expenses,” WCLS executive director Christine Perkins said in a statement. “We believe re-establishing full library services will be an important step in helping the community recover.”
To donate to the Sumas library, visit wcls.org/donation-form-sumas.
Whatcom County Public Works said in a January 14 news release it expects to finish emergency repairs to Birch Bay-Lynden Road by the end of January. Permanent repairs will be made in the future.
A section of the heavily-trafficked road has been closed near Ham Road since the November floods, when a 40-foot section of the road fell into California Creek after a culvert failed.
Heavy rainfall and recent King tides have continued to erode Drayton Harbor Road near Shintaffer Road. Public works employees are monitoring the road every day.
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