U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced the immediate availability of $1 million in emergency relief funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help Washington state cover the costs of repairing roads damaged by a massive mudslide in Snohomish County.
"These funds represent the first installment of our commitment to the people of Washington state while our thoughts continue to be with the families suffering great losses from this disaster," said Secretary Foxx. "This devastating mudslide has damaged roads and bridges people rely on daily, and we’ll be with the state as they recover."
About 60 miles north of Seattle near the town of Oso, a large mudslide, roughly the size of a square mile, moved south across the Stillaguamish River between Arlington and Darrington. It damaged both directions of State Route 530 between Oso Loop Road and Little French Creek Road, and that section of the route remains closed. Water rose about a foot every 30 minutes because of debris and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is still concerned about flash flooding and damage to downstream bridges in the area.
"We are committed to work with the state until transportation is completely restored in the area," said Federal Highway Deputy Administrator Greg Nadeau. "Washington state can count on us to provide federal resources as they work to recover from this tragic event."
WSDOT continues to assess the damage caused by the mudslide.
Funds from the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Emergency Relief Program will reimburse the WSDOT for emergency work done in the immediate aftermath of the mudslide. FHWA will provide additional funds in the future as permanent repairs are identified and cost estimates are completed. FHWA's emergency relief program provides funds for the repair or reconstruction of federal-aid roads and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.