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Washington governor asks for disaster aid as mudslide death toll climbs

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee asked the federal government to issue a disaster declaration for the state, just after the confirmed death toll from the recent mudslides hit 24.

The disaster declaration will help the state obtain aid for reconstruction and to help the 30 or so families who were left homeless by the mudslides. So far, Mr. Inslee guessed the devastation has caused about $7 million in structural damages and another $3 million in miscellaneous personal damages — and that's just to the 30 families hit hardest, Fox News reported.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office said it's now taken in 24 victims, 18 of whom have been identified to the public.

Search dogs are still on the job, and accompanying handlers say they're finding human remains, or partial human remains, several times a day, Fox News reported.

Mr. Inslee's request for the disaster declaration was sent by way of a letter to federal authorities. He's also asked for the ability to tap into disaster housing, disaster grants, disaster-related unemployment insurance and crisis counseling programs for residents of several counties.

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