Whatcom County Faces More than $1 Million in Flood Damage

Wednesday’s proclamation lets state agencies use state resources “to do everything reasonably possible to assist affected communities,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wrote in the proclamation.

by Robert Mittendorf, The Bellingham Herald (Bellingham, Wash.) / February 6, 2020

(TNS) — Gov. Jay Inslee issued an emergency proclamation Wednesday for Whatcom County and 18 others in Washington state that we affected by the recent snowstorm, flooding and landslides.

Damages in Whatcom County are still being assessed, but totals could exceed $1 million, according to John Gargett, deputy director of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management.

Wednesday’s proclamation lets state agencies use state resources “to do everything reasonably possible to assist affected communities,” Inslee wrote in the proclamation, which was sent to news organizations.

It also allows the state to apply for federal Department of Transportation funds to help permanently repair roadways.

Gargett said Inslee’s move is “a significant step forward” in moving the process along to obtain federal aid.

“Whatcom was the hardest-hit county in the state with regard to last week’s floods,” Gargett told The Bellingham Herald.

He said state Office of Emergency Management officials were scheduled Thursday to visit Lummi Nation, Everson, Nooksack and Sumas — areas that saw flooding from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2.

Whatcom County officials will discuss the recent flooding at a special meeting this weekend, the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management wrote in a statement Tuesday.

Meanwhile, County Executive Satpal Sidhu will join officials from the Public Works Department, Planning and Development Services, the Assessor’s Office, U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene and other officials to recap the events and discuss how the county can help affected residents and businesses.

Officials will take questions and help residents understand flood damage and the planning permit process.

The meeting is open to the public from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 8, at Nooksack Valley High School, 3326 E. Badger Road in Everson.

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©2020 The Bellingham Herald (Bellingham, Wash.)

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