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Snowmageddon: Gregoire seeks federal money for January snowstorm

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The Associated Press
The storm that started slow ended tough.

 OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Chris Gregoire has asked President Barack Obama to declare a federal disaster area in 11 Washington counties for damages and costs suffered during January's snowstorm.

Last month's storm of snow, ice and freezing rain caused power outages, landslides, avalanches and fallen trees across Washington, creating $32.3 million in potential eligible damages, according to preliminary state and federal assessments.

Gregoire's request seeks federal disaster aid for public facility damage in 11 counties: Clallam, Grays Harbor, King, Klickitat, Lewis, Mason, Pierce, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston and Wahkiakum.

If the declaration is approved, Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance grants would defray 75 percent of eligible disaster-related costs. That would cover repairs, property replacement, debris removal and emergency protective measures.

Gregoire proclaimed a state emergency on Jan. 18 because of the winter storm conditions.

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