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Obama Declares Major Disaster in Washington State


Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                           

January 30, 2009
The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Washington and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by a severe winter storm, landslides, mudslides, and flooding during the period of January 6-16, 2009.
Federal funding is available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the a severe winter storm, landslides, mudslides, and flooding in the counties of King, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, and Wahkiakum.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
Nancy Ward, Acting Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Willie G. Nunn as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.
FEMA said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
FEMA said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.