Federal assistance on the way for victims of 2021 floods

Liam Ford

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Historic flooding in November 2021 affected regions of northwestern Washington and southern B.C., including the town of Merritt.| Photo by Stepan_ via Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, WA — The White House has approved Washington state’s request for federal aid for people whose lives were devastated by November’s historic flooding.

“I’m pleased President Biden recognized this and approved our request for this critical support,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in a news release today.

Approximately 300 homes in northwest Washington sustained damage, according to December assessments by the state’s Emergency Management Division.

Impacted counties include Clallam, Skagit, and Whatcom. As well, the Lummi Nation, Nooksack Indian Tribe, and Quileute Tribe were affected.

Inslee requested aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Dec. 17.

Financial aid and services will be available for people with un- or underinsured households. Assistance includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs; low-cost loans to cover property losses; and other programs to help people and businesses affected by the floods.

Residents and business owners in the designated areas who were affected by the floods can apply for assistance at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

The November 2021 floods were caused by a Pineapple Express that brought unseasonably heavy rain to regions of southern British Columbia, Canada, and the northwestern U.S., according to Wikipedia.

The flooding was the most expensive natural disaster in B.C. history, costing at least $450 million Cdn, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Total damages could add up to $7.5 billion, according to Christian Aid, a non-governmental organization.

More than 158,000 people in Washington state were affected by power outages and other service disruptions.

Hundreds of Whatcom County residents were evacuated due to flooding of the Nooksack River, which forced the closure of local schools and cut off roads into the Lummi Nation.

At least five people were killed and 10 others were hospitalized due to the disaster.

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Hard news from the Pacific Northwest | News tips? Email hello@liamford.com | Freelance reporter | Former Vancouver Sun desker | Langara Journalism '08

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