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Whatcom Emergency Operations issues situation report – Gov. Inslee makes aid request to Pres. Biden

Still from a drone’s view video of Nooksack River flood event at 23.4′ in Ferndale (November 16, 2021). Video courtesy of a reader

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — Yesterday, December 17th, Whatcom Unified Emergency Operations Center issued a situation status report of the flooding impacts on day 34 of the atmospheric river and flooding incident.

The following were included in the weekly situation report.

  • Washington State Governor Inslee has decided to submit the Individual Assistance Declaration today to FEMA
  • Approximately 1,900 structures have been confirmed impacted by the incident events
  • The joint Damage Assessment Team comprised of Washington State and FEMA representatives are in Whatcom County this week reviewing reported damages for public assistance – preliminary figures should be ready by the end of next week
  • A total of 183 persons comprised of 54 households have been confirmed to being provided temporary housing in Whatcom County: either through EOC Sarbanand Farms’ temporary housing or through a partner agency (Catholic Community Service, North Sound Accountable Community of Health, the Opportunity Council and the Whatcom County Health Department)
  • The EOC call center remains available to request temporary housing, transportation, childcare or other needs by calling 360-788-5303 Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm (English and Spanish speaking)
  • Flood debris temporary disposal site at 3010 Halverstick Road is open daily from 8am to 4pm through December 31st (closed December 25th) to dispose of household materials including small amounts of hazardous waste but no automobile, machinery or mechanical ruins.

Outside agencies providing assistance to those impacted

  • Samaritan’s Purse (logged 6,596 volunteer hours here as of December 15th)
    • FREE services for homeowners who have little or no insurance
      • Debris removal
      • Flood cleanup & mud-outs
      • Sanitizing with shockwave treatment
    • Contact 360-303-3563
    • Based on current work requests, scheduled to stay in the community until January 22, 2022 – end date dependent on requested work. Requests are handled depending on need and volunteer availability
  • Team Rubicon (33 volunteers on-site as of December 13th) 
    • FREE service for flood victims
      • Debris Removal
        • Trees, house debris, water. Can help move debris to the curb; off-site disposal services not provided.
      • Site Survey
        • Digitally analyze and record impact
    • Contact 310-981-8845
    • Currently scheduled to be available until a January 4th, 2022
  • National Red Cross Hotline for Recovery Information
    • Contact 800-295-3717
  • Whatcom Strong
  • Business Resources are being made available via the Western Washington University (WWU) Small Business Development Center
    • WWU Small Business Development Center has created a webpage with information regarding a variety of flood relief resources for small businesses including agricultural operations
  • Sumas Resource Center
    • Food, clothing, financial aid and miscellaneous dry goods are available
    • Contact Mayor Kyle Christianson at 360-594-1468
    • Located at the Sumas Advent Christian Church, 125 Front Street, Sumas
      • Open Tuesday and Thursdays from 3pm to 8pm, including a 5pm dinner
      • Open Saturday from 10am to 3pm, including a 12pm lunch
  • Everson and Nooksack Volunteer Coordinator
    • Contact Melanie Dickinson at 360-966-3411

The following is part of Inslee’s letter to Biden requesting federal assistance, namely Individual Assistance Program aid. Click to download the complete letter and application (PDF file).

Click for more information

Click for more information

I request you declare a Major Disaster for the State of Washington as a result of damages incurred by a continuous series of severe winter storms, high winds, flooding, landslides and mudslides beginning November 5 through December 2, 2021. The historic and deadly disaster is of such severity and magnitude that effective response exceeds the capability of the state and impacted local governments and supplemental federal assistance is required. I am specifically requesting the Individual Assistance Program for Clallam, Skagit and Whatcom Counties. This request for assistance includes: Mass Care and Emergency Assistance, Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Disaster Legal Services, Disaster Case Management and the Individuals and Households Program.

Additionally, we are requesting Individual Assistance for the federally recognized Lummi Nation, Nooksack Indian Tribe and the Quileute Tribe.

Damages to public infrastructure are still being collected at this time. A request for Public Assistance and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program will be made at a later date.Taken from a letter by Washington Governor Jay Inslee to US President Joe Biden (December 17, 2021)

Anyone interested in helping support the disaster recovery efforts can contact the Whatcom Volunteer Center or by making a financial donation to the Whatcom Community Foundation Resilience Fund.

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