On Saturday, a devastating mudslide struck near Oso, Washington, in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains along the Stillaguamish River. The slide swept through homes and across state Route 530. Today, our hopes and prayers are with the families and friends of those who died and with those still awaiting word on missing loved ones.
To help Washington state cover the costs of repairing damaged roads in Snohomish County, we have announced the immediate availability of $1 million in emergency relief funds from the Federal Highway Administration.
Mud, water, and debris damaged both directions of Route 530 between Oso Loop Road and Little French Creek Road, and that section remains closed. The mud and debris have also caused natural dams near the roadway. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is still concerned about flash flooding and damage to downstream bridges in the area.
The funds we released yesterday represent the first installment of our commitment to the people of Washington state. The money will reimburse WSDOT for emergency work done in the immediate aftermath of this tragic mudslide as crews try to restore damaged roads and bridges people rely on daily. We'll support the state with additional funds as permanent repairs are identified and cost estimates are completed.
Our thoughts continue to be with the families suffering from this disaster.