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State delegation's statement on expansion of federal aid for Oso mudslide response

Today, the federal delegation representing Snohomish County released the following statement after President Obama approved Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s request to expand federal aid for response efforts related to Saturday’s mudslide in Oso, Washington.  The delegation includes U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and U.S. Representatives Suzan DelBene (WA-01), who all represent Kirkland, along with Rick Larsen (WA-02), and Jim McDermott (WA-07).

“Since Saturday, first responders in Oso, Darrington, and Arlington have risked their lives to rescue survivors and help these communities recover.  Our first priority is ensuring these men and women have all the help they need to continue response efforts,” the delegation members wrote in a joint statement. “The President’s decision today to move quickly and approve the Governor’s latest request for federal aid is a positive step to support state and local agencies working in unprecedented conditions.  We remain committed to working with the agencies on the ground and the Administration to ensure all necessary federal resources continue to be provided as quickly as possible.”

Yesterday, the delegation urged the President to expedite and quickly approve the Governor’s latest request, which expands federal aid commitments already in place.

On Monday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced President Obama had issued a limited emergency declaration for direct federal assistance in Washington state.  The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) on Monday also announced it would provide $1 million in Emergency Relief funds to support emergency transportation needs in Snohomish County.

The USDOT Emergency Relief program provides emergency funding for highway repair after natural disasters or catastrophic failures from an external cause.

The Emergency Relief program was reauthorized in the latest federal transportation bill, which passed Congress was signed by President Obama in July 2012. It is the same program used to pay for repairs of the I-5 Skagit River Bridge when it collapsed in May 2013.

States are required to request a formal declaration of emergency in order to receive federal support. On March 22, Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared a State of Emergency for Snohomish County.

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