(OLYMPIA) - Governor Chris Gregoire and Senator Patty Murray today announced that Washington will immediately receive $1 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help repair roads, bridges and tunnels, damaged by the recent heavy rainfall and flooding. U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters made the announcement at a press conference at the firehouse at Paine Field in Everett.
“Washington roads and other transportation structures were extensively damaged as a result of this month's flooding. This federal support is a critical first step toward repairing our roads and returning life to normal for many of our state's residents,” said Governor Gregoire.
“I want to sincerely thank Secretary Peters for providing this critical initial down payment to help repair our flood-damaged roads. Getting our infrastructure back in shape is our most immediate need and this federal funding is an important step toward that goal,” Senator Murray said. “As incoming Chairwoman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, I will work with Secretary Peters to ensure that WashDOT has the resources it needs to fix our roads while keeping other critical projects on track. We cannot afford to compound the tragedy of these floods by diverting money from the many other critical road projects across our state.”
Governor Gregoire on November 6 declared a state of emergency on 18 of Washington’s 39 counties. As the rain continued to fall and the flooding spread to other parts of the state, Governor Gregoire on November 9 expanded the emergency proclamation to six additional counties. On November 21, Governor Gregoire sent a letter to President Bush, requesting that he declare a federal disaster in 11 Washington counties.
Senators Murray and Cantwell on November 22 sent a joint letter to the FEMA Director, urging him to quickly approve the request.
“Senator Murray and I are grateful for those who have helped out during these trying times. The National Guard, Washington State Troopers, local Emergency Management offices and hundreds of volunteers worked countless hours to help their neighbors, many of them over the recent holiday weekend,” said Governor Gregoire.