Cantwell, Murray Applaud Assistance for Northeast Washingtonians in Wake of Severe Storm Damage

Senators urged swift approval of a major disaster declaration for Ferry and Okanogan counties, Colville Reservation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded President Obama’s issuance today of a major disaster declaration for parts of Northeast Washington struggling to recover from severe July storm damage: Ferry County, Okanogan County and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

On September 18th, Cantwell and Murray called for President Obama’s swift approval of the disaster declaration for the impacted areas in Washington state. Governor Christine Gregoire formally asked for the major disaster declaration on September 7th.

“This severe July storm caused extensive damage to property and community infrastructure in Northeast Washington,” Cantwell said. “We urged quick approval of this major disaster designation so Washingtonians have the support they need to recover and rebuild. This support will go a long way to helping state and local officials continue to provide a strong disaster response and help communities recover and move forward.”

“This critical support will help communities in Northeast Washington get back on their feet following this terrible storm that damaged businesses, destroyed homes, and endangered the well-being of so many families,” Murray said. “I was pleased to work with Senator Cantwell to make sure the region receives the support it needs to continue the road to recovery.”

On July 20, 2012, a severe thunderstorm hit the region, resulting in flash flooding and significant damage to residential and commercial property. Strong winds of up to 90 miles-per-hour knocked out power and phone service and a damaged storm sewer system prevented local access to clean water for several days. The storm significantly impacted timber, resulting in a $1 million loss for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and a $2 million loss for the Colville Tribe. One person was also killed in Ferry County as a result of the storm.