Commissioners seeking disaster declaration for Nile Valley - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Commissioners seeking disaster declaration for Nile Valley

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NILE VALLEY, Wash. -- Yakima County commissioners are seeking state and federal assistance to help pay for damage caused by the Nile Valley landslide.

Governor Gregoire has already declared the Nile Valley an emergency area, which means the department of transportation may be able to get funds for road repairs, but the emergency declaration doesn't necessarily help homeowners directly.

When the landslide wiped out SR-410, creating an alternate road became top priority. Now that road replacements are in the works the county is turning attention to homeowners many of which lost everything and aren't covered by insurance. 

Gregoire needs to declare the Nile Valley a disaster area for people to get access to federal assistance.

"It's technical, it's government for you, but until we get that declaration we can't access help from the feds for these folks," said Rand Elliott, Yakima County commissioner.

Elliott said county commissioners sent the Governor a letter Monday asking for her help. Basic homeowners insurance doesn't cover landslide or land movement so many people in the Nile Valley are left with mortgages, but no homes.

If the Nile Valley is declared a "disaster area," which is a step above "emergency area," then people affected may apply for low interest loans and other federal assistance.