January 12, 2009
Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) toured the town of Pacific over the weekend to meet with local leaders and residents and survey damage caused by the recent flooding. In addition to surveying the damage, the purpose of the trip was also to identify how the Federal Government can help with the recovery efforts and evaluate what can be done to prevent flooding of this scale in the future.
"I want to applaud the residents and local leaders who have responded extremely well in the face of this crisis. They had an emergency plan in place and they executed the plan very effectively," said Congressman Adam Smith. "We must now focus our attention on getting assistance to individuals and businesses in need of help with their recovery efforts. Homes and businesses have been severely damaged and there cannot be a delay in getting help to these people, they are relying on us to give them direction and assistance during this difficult time."
Governor Gregoire gave a preliminary estimate of damage to roads and state property at $125 million. U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters announced Friday that the state had immediate access to $2 million in federal aid and pledged more support once detailed assessments have been made. Congressman Smith has called for the disbursement of more federal funding and a timely assessment of what can be done to prevent this sort of flooding from happening again.
"We must also continue to assess the situation and put measures in place to prevent this sort of flooding in the future," Rep. Smith continued. "We should evaluate the levee system and current flood plain management plans and make any adjustments necessary to ensure flooding of this magnitude never happens again. My office will continue to be a resource to all the individuals, business owners and local officials during their recovery efforts."