Landslide costs mount to $65 million a month after disaster

OLYMPIA — The economic toll of the deadly March 22 mudslide has risen rapidly since President Barack Obama declared it a major disaster.

The cost of the catastrophe, which destroyed 37 homes and claimed at least 39 lives, is now an estimated $65 million to state and local entities, officials said Friday. The estimate was $42 million when Obama issued his declaration.

Obama is scheduled to visit the site of the landslide Tuesday.

The amount fluctuates because it is based on information received daily from Snohomish County, cities, special districts and individuals affected by the event, said Kurt Hardin, state coordinating officer for the state Emergency Management Division.

Of the total, $53 million is for the cost of debris removal, ongoing rescue and recovery efforts involving emergency personnel and Washington National Guard and damage to public infrastructure. Snohomish County’s share was roughly $32 million, according to figures provided by the state.

In addition, the destruction of 37 homes and damage to six others resulted in $10 million in private property losses, according to figures provided to the state by Snohomish County.

And Hardin said an estimated $1.5 million will be paid out in emergency assistance to individuals and families for temporary housing, replacement of lost items, counseling and disaster unemployment.

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