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Office of Governor Gary Locke
Contact:  Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136

Locke requests federal disaster aid for Kelso neighborhood hit by landslide

OLYMPIA - Gov. Gary Locke today requested President Clinton to declare a federal disaster area for Kelso's Aldercrest neighborhood where a slow-moving landslide has destroyed 20 homes and affected a total of 82.

Locke toured the neighborhood last Thursday after proclaiming a state of emergency in Cowlitz County. "This slide cannot be stopped, and an entire neighborhood could be damaged beyond repair," said Locke. "Residents of Aldercrest will need federal assistance to begin to recover from the devastating loss of their homes."

A damage assessment team of federal, state and local officials last Thursday found 20 homes had been destroyed by the slide. Their survey determined another 62 homes were affected because of breaks in roads, telephone, sewer and water lines.
Damage from the slide could total as much as $10 million, according to the survey.
Homeowners insurance does not generally cover damage caused by landslides.

Locke's request seeks low-interest U.S. Small Business Administration loans for homeowners, temporary housing assistance for displaced homeowners, federal assistance to individuals to replace belongings left behind in an evacuation, and hazard mitigation funds.

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