Federal money approved for Peninsula floods damage

Residents and business owners who sustained damage during the flooding can begin the disaster relief process by calling 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 for the hearing and speech impaired.

The toll free numbers will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

Clallam and Jefferson county home and business owners will be awarded federal disaster relief funding to help recover from October’s floods.

President Bush authorized the aid under a major disaster declaration issued Friday following a review of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency analysis of the state’s request for federal assistance.

Dozens of West End homes were damaged Oct. 15 to Oct. 23 when rivers overflowed their banks leaving some residents displaced and others with mild to severe flood damage of homes and property.

Flooding also caused mudslides and sinkholes along major highways and roads and did thousands of dollars of damage to Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest Service roads and trails.

The coastal community of LaPush and some homes in the Forks area suffered substantial damage, while other communities received minor damage during the floods.

The declaration covers damage to private property from severe storms and flooding.

The assistance can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses.

Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration will also be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance, said Michael D. Brown, Federal Emergency Management Agency director and under secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response at Homeland Security.

In addition, Brown said cost-shared funding will be available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.

Other counties which will receive funding include: Chelan, Grays Harbor, Island, King, Kitsap, Mason, Okanogan, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston and Whatcom.

Brown said additional damage surveys are continuing and additional counties and assistance for state and local government agencies may be designated later.

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