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

Locke requests federal disaster aid for flooding in two northeast Washington counties

OLYMPIA - Gov. Gary Locke today requested President Clinton to declare a federal disaster area in Ferry and Stevens counties of northeast Washington because of heavy rains and flooding in late May.

"Heavy rains and flooding caused extensive damage to the road network in these counties. Both counties face economic hardship because major employers are cut off from raw materials, and markets and tourists cannot reach recreational sites," said Locke.

Locke's request seeks federal assistance to remove flood debris; to repair roads, bridges and other public facilities; and to pay for emergency overtime costs and hazard mitigation projects. As in previous federal aid requests, the state and affected counties will split the 25 percent federal matching requirement. The governor also will work with the Legislature to provide adequate funding to help the counties meet their financial obligations.

Four teams of federal, state and local officials last week assessed the flood damages in northeastern Washington. Their damage assessment report will be submitted to the president through the Region 10 office of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Bothell.

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