Council approves 30-day extension for communities still cleaning up from winter storm
The Metropolitan King County Council today unanimously approved an extension of the fee waiver for disposal of flood debris from this month’s winter storms for 30 additional days. Residents from communities still cleaning up from the floods will be able to dispose of flood-damaged debris for free through February 26.
The initial waiver of solid waste disposal fees for flood damage that was authorized by the County Council January 12 expires today. The waiver adopted by the Council allows residents who use County transfer stations to call for a voucher and then take their flood debris to the nearest county transfer station.
Flood debris collection stations were established in six communities hit hard by the flooding – Carnation, Duvall, Issaquah, North Bend, Pacific and Snoqualmie. More than 790 tons of debris was collected in 10 days.
“I toured around the flooded areas and I saw so much extensive damage,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, who represents the hard-hit Snoqualmie Valley. “I’ve never seen a house moved off its foundation by a flood before. King County estimates that 40 to 50 homes were completely destroyed by flooding, and hundreds more were damaged significantly. With flood waters still lingering for weeks in some areas, these homeowners need additional time to clean up after this disaster, and King County is ready to assist with debris disposal.”
The King County Solid Waste Division will provide vouchers to residents who suffered flood damage for free disposal of debris at any of King County’s garbage transfer stations. For more information about obtaining a free disposal voucher, call (206) 296-4466.
“King County has received a great response to its original waiver of dump fees for storm-related debris, but Council members understand that cleaning up after a severe storm can be a long-term project,” said Council Chair Dow Constantine. “Extending our waiver policy for one month will enable residents of flood-damaged areas to continue their work at a minimal cost.”
“The residents in flood ravaged King County should expect the County to support them in times of natural disaster,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn. “The Cedar River in my district left behind a trail of broken homes and lives. It will take months for many of my constituents to put their lives back together. I was astonished at the amount of debris left behind and I am pleased that we can provide our citizens this additional assistance.”
On January 22, the State of Washington asked for a federal disaster declaration in King County and eight other counties that will allow federal assistance for families, unemployment benefits, Small Business Administration loans, farm loans and hazard mitigation.
“In response to recurring flooding, I look forward to working on additional policies to address, eliminate or reduce damage from flooding, but I also hope that we won’t have to use them,” Councilmember Lambert said.