The WLTRG was initially formed under the name Whatcom Strong through the grassroots efforts of local churches, city officials, and residents. Modeled after the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters Long Term Recovery Group Model, the nonprofit was formed in February 2022 to provide recovery coordination and services to individuals, families, businesses, and communities adversely affected by the 2021 flood disaster and future disasters. Currently, a disaster case manager lead and eight local disaster case managers (DCMs) made up of both WLTRG and Whatcom County personnel are supporting nearly 500 households that were the most seriously impacted by last year's floods. The Division of Emergency Management hired a Flood Recovery Manager responsible for overseeing and coordinating all activities related to flood recovery.
Assistance to flood-impacted households has come from many different funding sources. As of September 2022, assistance provided includes:
$5,656,000+ from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to over 2,000 households
$4,750,000 from the State of Washington for housing and emergency support
$2,380,000 from the Whatcom Community Foundation
$8,000,000 from the Small Business Administration for home and personal property
$500,000+ from World Renew for building supplies to repair homes
The 2021 floods caused approximately $45,000,000 worth of impacts to local businesses. Over 300 businesses reported some sort of physical or economic damages. As of September 2022, the Small Business Administration has approved 10 loans to businesses in Whatcom County for physical flood damage totaling over $1 million.