Jay Inslee thinks this winter was a disaster.
On Friday he announced that he’s sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump himself, asking that the federal government to declare the winter storms that hit the state between January 30 to February 22 a disaster. Doing so would make the state eligible for federal assistance.
The severely damaged West Point sewage treatment plant is among the impacts Inslee cites in his letter. The treatment plant failed during heavy February rains, causing millions of gallons of untreated sewage to flow into the Puget Sound. The plant is still not functioning at full capacity. It’s been estimated that the cost to fix it could top $25 million.
Elsewhere, the winter weather caused flooding in the town of Connell and broke the town of Pe Ell’s waterline. We don’t know where the hell either of those places are, but we feel for them. This winter sucked.
The bulk of the damage Inslee cited was to roads. “A freeze-thaw cycle caused significant damage to foundations, pavement and drainage systems to more than 750 local and state roadways,” the governor’s office wrote.
Inslee wants to tap into FEMA’s public assistance program, which provides grants of 75 percent of the disaster impacts.