Today, the federal delegation representing Snohomish County released the following statement after President Obama granted the major disaster declaration requested Monday by Washington Governor Jay Inslee. This declaration significantly expands the emergency declaration already issued by the President. The delegation includes U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and U.S. Representatives Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Rick Larsen (WA-02), and Jim McDermott (WA-07).
"For more than a week now, state and local first responders have inspired all of us through their work to save lives and help the communities of Oso, Darrington, and Arlington recover. While federal resources quickly deployed by the Obama Administration have been instrumental in the response efforts so far, the President's decision today to issue a major disaster declaration and provide individual and public federal assistance is vital and necessary for the long-term needs of families in these communities," the delegation members said. "With many loved ones still missing, the search process will continue, but the President's action today is a critical step to begin the difficult, long-term recovery process for these communities."
On Monday, the delegation urged the President to expedite and quickly approve the Governor's latest request to expand initial federal aid commitments.
Last Monday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced President Obama had issued a limited emergency declaration for direct federal assistance in Washington state, which was then expanded later in the week. The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) also announced it would provide $1 million in Emergency Relief funds to support emergency transportation needs in Snohomish County.
States are required to request a formal declaration of emergency in order to receive federal support. On March 22, Washington Governor Jay Inslee first declared a State of Emergency for Snohomish County.