UPDATE: New Flood Warning for Stevens County

S-E Staff Reporter

UPDATED 1:39 pm March 29, 2017

The National Weather Service in Spokane issued a new Flood Warning for Colville and Central Stevens County today, after the swollen Colville River overtook US-395 north of the City of Colville, closing the highway to all traffic between mileposts 231 and 233 for the second time in the last ten days.

Forecasters at NWS-Spokane expect the latest round of flooding to continue in the Colville Valley through the upcoming weekend and into next week, with more rain expected today and tomorrow.

The new warning comes as State and local officials continue to urge impacted residents to report their damages to State and Federal disaster agencies as this is the first step in qualifying for emergency assistance.

Last Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) declared a State of Emergency across 20 flood-plagued Eastern Washington counties.

The declaration opened up increased avenues of disaster relief to flood- impacted Stevens County residents, both financial and otherwise.

Victims of the ongoing flooding can apply for more than 40 immediate types of relief, including loans, grants, deferrals and subsidies via State and Federal disaster assistance programs.

Additionally, both State and Federal relief programs provide targeted aid to affected sectors of the populace.

For example, rural farms owners may qualify for direct aid in the form of financial assistance to recompense lost crops and/or equipment.

Those who were forced to vacate a residence or shutter a business due to flooding may be eligible for State-proctored disaster relief in the form of immediate temporary rental housing for tenants of flooded homes, immediate housing and/or machinery replacement for home and farm owners.

Those affected the most by the recent flooding may even qualify for several thousands dollars in direct financial aid via the Staten and Federal “Other Needs Assistance” program, which provides disaster assistance awards for eligible medical, dental and funeral expenses, as well as personal property, transportation and other necessary expenses or serious needs.

The Other Needs Assistance program is administered by the state and funded 75 percent by FEMA and 25 percent by the state. Eligibility for assistance in based upon essential needs as determined by a FEMA inspection and averages somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000. The program, by design of Congress, only provides limited assistance to help an individual or household on the road to recovery.

Other examples of specific aid packages include funds designate for current or retired service members and/or their dependents; retirees, disabled persons, any persons forced to relocate as a result of flooding and rural property and/or home owners.

Residents of Northeast Washington may report their losses on the State Emergency Management division website and apply for Federal aid at www.disasterassistance.gov.