FEMA Director Visits Earthquake-Damaged Bridge in Washington State

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Release date: 
April 17, 2001
Release Number: 
1361-55
Photo of the 4th Street Bridge that was severely damaged during the February earthquake.
Olympia, WA, April 18, 2001 -- The 4th Street Bridge was severely damaged during the February earthquake. A temporary bridge is being built to take traffic over the river while a new, permanent bridge is built. FEMA News Photo.

Olympia, WA -- Joe M. Allbaugh, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), appeared today at the earthquake-damaged Fourth Avenue bridge in Olympia to address local and state officials and the media about federal response efforts.

At the briefing, Director Allbaugh announced a one-month extension of the teleregistration deadline for individuals and businesses affected by the disaster. Since registrations for FEMA/state aid have remained at 400 to 600 per day, and because earthquake damage is still appearing in some structures, FEMA has extended the deadline to May 31.

Director Allbaugh also announced the addition of four counties for Public Assistance: Cowlitz, Douglas, Pacific and Walla Walla.

FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh receives a token of appreciation from Mayor Stan Biles.
Olympia, WA, April 17, 2001 -- FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh receives a token of appreciation from Mayor Stan Biles. Allbaugh visited the city today and its 4th Street Bridge, severely damaged by the February earthquake. FEMA News Photo.

Federal Coordinating Officer William Lokey, recognized Congressional staff members attending the event, then introduced Congressional Representative Brian Baird, who thanked the FEMA staff for helping the state of Washington recover from the earthquake. Olympia Mayor Stan Biles also thanked FEMA for its work and praised the efficient, friendly way federal, state and local officials have worked together.

Representing the businesses in downtown Olympia, where the damaged Fourth Street bridge has caused a slowdown in customer traffic, was Greg Stormans, current co-owner of the Thriftway Market on Fourth Street and former President of the Chamber of Commerce. Stormans expressed his appreciation to FEMA, the state and the city of Olympia for their prompt work to repair the bridge.

After Director Allbaugh announced the extended deadline and the add-on counties, he explained that though foreign countries try to match the level of disaster recovery the citizens and the government in the U.S. accomplish, what they lack is something that cannot be imitated: the heart.

"Americans care about our neighbors who have been stricken by disaster, and we help all we can, knowing that when we need help, others will be there," said Allbaugh.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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