WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — While officials with Washington and British Columbia have announced the beginning of cooperative efforts toward flood planning and response, the recent Washington State legislative session has resulted in funding to be allocated toward flood recovery projects.
The items were included in the final 2022 supplemental capital budget which is waiting to be signed by Governor Jay Inslee.
42nd-district State Representative Sharon Shewmake detailed some of the items of importance to Whatcom County in an email to Whatcom News as follows.
- $20 million in statewide programs to support small businesses recovering from natural disasters
- Another bill to support farmers and ranchers recovering from natural disasters
- $2 million from the capital budget to buy frequently flooded properties in Whatcom County, as well as making targeted investments around the community
- $2 million to repair and prepare schools in the Nooksack Valley School District
- $14 million to elevate Slater Road to eliminate road closures from flooding, equal to the estimated cost of a proposal provided by the Lummi Nation in 2020
- $2 million to replace Whatcom County Fire District 8’s Station 34 which serves Marietta and Lummi Peninsula and whose response can be critical during floods
- A “down payment” of $500,000 for local planning and an additional $250,000 to support international planning
Shewmake noted during a phone interview that these allocations are not expected to be made immediately available but distributed over time, years in some cases.