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Washington County Storm-related Costs Estimated at $5.7 Million

Cities and County Responders Help Neighboring Communities

HILLSBORO - Emergency managers in Washington County estimate the recent storm and flood resulted in at least $5.7 million in expenses due to damaged roads and bridges, hours spent removing debris and other actions taken to protect the public.

The estimate was part of an initial damage assessment of publicly owned and certain non-profit facilities and response hours sent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The federal agency for disaster recovery recently added Washington County to the list of Oregon counties eligible for federal aid to compensate for damaged infrastructure and work hours spent dealing with the storm.

Highlights from the storm's impact on the various agencies serving citizens in Washington County included:

$4.4 million primarily for roadways and bridges in the western portion of the county that are maintained by Washington County Department of Land Use and Transportation. These included damage due to a culvert failure on Cochran Road, a landslide along Pottratz Road, damage to a bridge along Meacham Road near Dairy Creek Road and damage to a bridge on Fern Flat Road.

$1.2 million for damage to Oregon Department of Forestry roads, campsites and trails within the county.

"These dollar amounts reflect the impact of the storm on our public agencies and certain non-profits, but there is no way to put a price on the cumulative impact of the storm on our citizens here in Washington County and on our neighbors to the north and along the Oregon coast," said Scott Porter, director of the Office of Consolidated Emergency Management for Washington County.

First-responding agencies throughout Washington County assisted harder-hit communities in Columbia and Tillamook Counties with personnel and equipment. This mutual aid came in the form of building inspector teams, debris removal equipment, animal care and emergency management support. Dollar estimates of this assistance are still being compiled.

Although damage to Washington County businesses and residences did not approach that experienced elsewhere in the state, emergency managers know of at least twenty-one family homes that incurred storm-related damage.

The Office of Consolidated Emergency Management (OCEM) for Washington County has established a hotline for inventorying storm-damaged homes and businesses and encourages any resident or business who sustained uninsured losses to call 503-642-0369. Residents and businesses are also encouraged to contact FEMA directly at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or online at www.fema.gov/assistance.

FEMA has not yet declared Washington County eligible for assistance to individuals, families and businesses. However, if individuals and businesses notify the county and FEMA of their losses, it will provide essential information for FEMA to consider in making a decision about providing this type of assistance.