TIME natural disaster

Washington Gov Wants Obama to Help After Mudslide

Governor Jay Inslee addresses the media outside the Arlington Police Department in Arlington, Washington
Washington Governor Jay Inslee wrote President Barack Obama on Tuesday to ask for more federal assistance for his disaster struck state. JASON REDMOND - Reuters

Gov. Jay Inslee pleaded with President Barack Obama to provide a formal disaster declaration for Washington state so that victims of the deadly mudslide, which has killed at least 24 people, can access federal relief programs

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee urged President Barack Obama on Monday to provide more federal assistance to his state as financial losses and confirmed deaths continue to mount after a mudslide killed at least 24 people late last month.

Inslee asked Obama in a letter for a “major disaster declaration” in Snohomish County that would allow individuals and businesses to access federal relief programs, including disaster-related unemployment insurance and housing.

“I am hopeful that the President can act favorably and quickly on this request to provide assistance to help the survivors begin to recover from this terrible disaster,” Inslee said in a statement. “Words cannot describe the devastation done to the community of Oso and the impact the landslide continues to have in Darrington, Arlington and neighboring communities.”

Losses in mudslide-hit area have reached $10 million, the Associated Press reports. Officials on Monday increased the official death total to 24; 22 people are still officially missing.

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