County: Valley residents should report damage now from last week's wave of storms
January 26, 2012 · 3:40 PM
Last week's wave of snow and ice storms damaged a wide swath of King County.
With the bad weather past, residents and businesses that suffered property damage or other losses in the storm may be eligible for assistance to get their property back in order.
Eligibility is determined through a damage assessment process which takes into account the total reported losses within King County.
In order to compute the losses, individuals and businesses are encouraged to submit reports to the King County Office of Emergency Management (OEM). A webpage, www.kingcounty.gov/damage, is now open to receive damage reports for individuals and businesses in King County. In addition, a hotline number, 1-800-523-5044, is also open for individuals and businesses to record a damage report during business hours. These two reporting systems will be open until 5:00 p.m. on January 31.
Damage reports are for uninsured losses. Before filing a damage report with OEM, residents and business owners should contact their insurance provider about existing coverage and deductibles. They are also urged to document damage with photographs and keep records of all cleanup and repair costs.
Residents in unincorporated King County whose homes were damaged in the storm can obtain free building inspections from the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services (DDES). DDES has waived the associated fee to help residents speed up repair to their property. Priority service will be given for damaged structures requiring permits for repair work.
Inspectors will evaluate the integrity of structures, assess if a structure is safe to occupy, and whether a permit is required for repair work. Inspection staff may also advise customers of the need to pursue a more detailed inspection from a licensed structural engineer to determine the full extent of the damage. While storm damage inspections are free, standard permit fees still apply.
To request a damage assessment inspection during business hours, call 206-296-6630. DDES operates Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. For minor repairs, permits can be issued over the counter at the DDES offices at 900 Oakesdale Ave. SW in Renton.
For residents who are in the process of removing yard waste and woody debris, trash haulers have advised their customers that they can set out twice the normal amounts on their next collections day. To identify your trash hauler, or companies that recycle wood, visit www.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste.
For more information about the storm recovery effort, check www.kingcounty.gov.