Whatcom County, its tribes, cities, towns, port districts, water-sewer districts, school districts, park districts, and non-profits have a deadline to report flood damage due to November’s “atmospheric rivers.” Public infrastructure damages must be reported to Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) Division of Emergency Management (DEM) using the Washington State Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) forms before the end-of-business Monday, Dec. 6, in order to be included in the county’s request for federal reimbursement consideration under Public Assistance.
All public agency damage reports will be compiled by the WCSO’s DEM and submitted to the State Military Department (which oversees state emergency response including the National Guard.) According to the state DEM, damage assessments should include documentation, which as maps, photographs or video, labor cost and equipment summary, supply costs, and more.
After the state receives and assesses damage reports from Whatcom County, a joint federal and state PDA team will deploy the week of Dec. 13 to confirm and validate the damages.
Those covered by this public (entities) damage assessment process – with its Dec. 6 deadline – are local governments, federally recognized tribal governments, and certain private non-profit organizations with state or IRS documentation.
There is no deadline for businesses or individuals to report their damage. However, residents and private property owners are encouraged to use the online damage assessment report or phone (360) 788 - 5311 as soon as possible. Even for those with private insurance that will cover their flood damage losses, it is important to provide a damage assessment to the WCSO’s DEM.
The damage assessments support Whatcom County’s request-for-aid from the state and federal governments. It is the first step in the county’s prescribed process to receive aid.