FEMA visits Oso, encourages people to apply for aid

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on April 6, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Updated Sunday, Apr 6 at 7:10 PM

The latest:

  • FEMA officials urge anyone affected by the landslide to register for relief. Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)
  • On Monday, the US Army Corps of Engineers will begin building a temporary berm along the Stillaguamish River to channel water away from Highway 30.
  • An amphibious backhoe has been brought in to help with the search on the eastern part of the landslide where 267 acres are underwater.
  • 350 national guard soldiers are on site, providing support for the search operations.
  • The death toll stands at 30.
  • 13 people remain missing.

 

On Sunday, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate joined Gov. Jay Inslee to survey the damage and ongoing emergency response at the Oso landslide.

"It's human tragedy," said Johnson.

Johnson toured the landslide site with Gov. Jay Inslee and members of Washington's Congressional delegation.

He witnessed the scale of destruction, the loss of life and the massive effort underway to make things right.

"The danger is extensive.  It is clear there is more work to do," he said.

There is also more help on the way. A major reason Johnson came to Washington was to encourage those impacted by the landslide to ask for help.

"I'm here to tell you, this community and this state that the federal government is with you," he said.

That includes repairing damage and helping with insurance issues and temporary housing.

So far 190 people have already applied for rental assistance through FEMA.

But there is some concern people who may need help, may not ask for it.

"I worry about that.  I worry about a lot of things in that arena," said Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin.

Rankin says people in his town pride themselves on helping themselves. This time, he says, that won't work.

"We've gotten by.  We'll get by.  We need to change that just a little bit so that we can accept the gifts coming from a far," he said.

Which is why the feds made their plea and why they made it clear until Oso is whole again, they're not leaving.

Register for assistance with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).


 

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