Lowry requests federal disaster aid for Spokane, Pend Oreille, Klickitat Counties

OLYMPIA - Based on damage assessments by the state Emergency Management office, Gov. Mike Lowry today asked President Clinton for federal assistance to help repair public facilities in Eastern Washington and pay for cleanup efforts stemming from last month's ice storm.

In a letter to the president, Lowry requested federal disaster assistance for local governments, special districts such as utility districts, Indian tribes, and private non-profit groups in Spokane, Pend Oreille, and Klickitat counties.

"I am requesting federal assistance so these counties can recover some of their costs and begin the long rebuilding process," Lowry said. "The toll of the storm was costly in both dollars and in the tragic loss of life."

The Nov. 19 storm resulted in massive power outages, uninsured damage and clean-up costs for public facilities such as buildings, parks, roads and utilities. Cost to eligible agencies of the damage and cleanup is estimated at $13 million in the three counties.

In his request, the governor did not seek disaster assistance for individuals and small businesses because the Washington Military Department had previously advised the governor that uninsured losses by home owners and businesses did not meet eligibility criteria of federal disaster programs. Voluntary agencies such as the American Red Cross are working to meet the needs of the most seriously effected individuals with uninsured losses.

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For more information, please contact the Governor's Communications Office at (360) 753-6790.