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Now is the time to report locations of property damage from flooding

Cherry Street in Sumas (November 16, 2021). Photo courtesy of Desiree Daniels

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — Whatcom County Emergency Management said today specialists from the Emergency Management Division of the Washington State were expected to arrive in Whatcom County Monday, November 22nd, to work with Whatcom County officials to inspect areas hardest hit by the recent Nooksack River flooding.

There will be two Local/State teams made up of three individuals from the State and two from local governments. The teams will gather data to determine the level of impact to help justify the request for an Individual Assistance Declaration from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).Whatcom County Emergency Management (November 20, 2021)

Individual assistance from FEMA can include federal aid for rental assistance, temporary housing, home repairs, personal property losses and other disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.

In addition, it is possible some businesses could be eligible for low-interest disaster loans from the US Small Business Administration.

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The teams will get an official briefing in the Whatcom County Emergency Operations Center Monday morning before visiting areas of Everson, Nooksack, and Sumas. Damaged private property or businesses may have already been visited by local inspectors.

This is the critical first step in the normal protocol of formally assessing the level of damage and the dollar impact.

The teams will be validating and confirming the data that communities have already collected as well as evaluating additional damages which have yet to be reported. The information collected includes estimates on loss and damage of both structural and personal property throughout Whatcom County.Whatcom County Emergency Management (November 20, 2021)

Residents do not need to meet with the inspectors but should be aware the teams could be on and around their property.

Anyone who is unsure whether their property has been reported as damaged should call 360-788-5311 and leave a voice mail with their name, phone number, address and type of damage.

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