Olympia, WA -- To date, the Nisqually Earthquake of Feb. 28 is Washington's most expensive and widespread disaster, according to state and federal coordinating officers for the disaster recovery program.
Bill Lokey, federal coordinating officer, said the number of Washington residents registering for disaster aid reached a record 12,148 as of March 21. The previous high was 11,998 individual registrations for disaster assistance from the floods of early 1996.
"The record number of disaster aid registrations shows the extensive nature of the earthquake damage," said Lokey.
Diane Offord, state coordinating officer, said cost estimates of public infrastructures damages now total $250 million, compared to the $135 million in public infrastructure damage paid by federal disaster assistance in the floods of early 1996 or the $104 million in public infrastructure damage in the winter storms and floods of 1996-1997.
"Years of work lie ahead to repair the damage to local and state buildings, including repairs to some of the state's most historic structures," said Offord. "We also expect the public infrastructure costs likely will continue to climb because more detailed surveys will detect additional earthquake damage."
Total federal disaster recovery costs are now estimated at $322 million, excluding damage to highways and roads in the Federal Highway Administration system. The federal share of the non-highway recovery program is projected at $246.3 million, and the non-federal share at $76.5 million.