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People look toward a section of Swan Road northeast of Mount Vernon on Nov. 29 as it is covered by floodwaters.

People look toward a section of Swan Road northeast of Mount Vernon on Nov. 29 as it is covered by floodwaters.
Skagit County residents and businesses impacted by major flooding in November now qualify for federal assistance.
President Biden declared Wednesday the flooding that occurred in Western Washington Nov. 13-15 a major disaster, making federal funding available to Skagit, two other counties and three tribes whose communities saw the most extensive damage.
Those impacted can now apply for financial help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency Individual Assistance Program.
The program may offer grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other options to help business owners recover from the effects of the disaster, according to a statement from the White House.
Those impacted can apply for assistance at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362. This disaster is referenced under declaration No. 4635.
An effort by Skagit County to estimate the impact of the flooding locally suggested upward of $17 million in damage to residences, roads and businesses.
Also through its own preliminary damage assessment, the state’s Emergency Management Division estimated in December that 300 homes in the region sustained serious damage.
Gov. Jay Inslee sent a letter on Dec. 17 to FEMA requesting access to the agency’s Individual Assistance Program for those affected.
Twelve members of Congress — including the four who represent Skagit County — also supported Inslee’s request for help in a letter dated Dec. 21.
The state and Skagit County will continue to work for additional financial support through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program. The state intends to send its request to federal officials by the end of the week, according to a news release.
If approved, that program could reimburse state and local governments, along with some nonprofits, for the cost of disaster-related debris removal, emergency protective measures and infrastructure repair.
In the meantime, Skagit County leaders are glad to see an opportunity for individuals impacted in the community to get help.
“We know many are hurting, and we hope this assistance helps,” said Skagit County Sheriff Don McDermott, who also serves as director of the county Department of Emergency Management.
For more information: fema.gov/disaster/4635.
— Reporter Kimberly Cauvel: 360-416-2199, kcauvel@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kimberly_SVH, Facebook.com/bykimberlycauvel
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