Washington State is eligible for up to $20 million in flood mitigation funding.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced yesterday that Washington is eligible for a Swift Current grant. The number of potential Swift Current recipients now stands at 19: 18 states and one Tribal Nation (the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians).

Swift Current is a FEMA initiative that came into being following the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. It seeks to assuage the destruction wrought by climate change upon "flood-prone communities," according to Administrator Deanne Criswell.

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"The opportunity aligns with FEMA’s Year of Resilience and helps communities build local capacity to withstand tomorrow’s hazards from climate change," Criswell said in a written statement.

More specifically, Swift Current "is designed to get funding on the ground as soon as possible after a flood-related disaster to help communities implement upgrades to reduce their flood risk." Full disclosure: funding is only available to National Flood Insurance Program policyholders.

Swift Current funds can be invested in "property acquisition, demolition, elevation and relocation," among other projects. Having endured one or more flood-related disasters since June 2023, Washington meets the criteria specified by FEMA.

Last December, Snohomish County and several adjacent counties were walloped by treacherously high river flows. It was not the first flood to seriously impact that part of the state.

In fact, floods around the world continue to escalate in frequency, severity and velocity. The UN maintains that this is "inextricably linked" to the climate crisis.

"Climate change is exacerbating both water scarcity and water-related hazards (such as floods and droughts), as rising temperatures disrupt precipitation patterns and the entire water cycle."

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