In a letter Monday to the Federal Emergency Management Administration, Inslee detailed the destruction caused by the wall of mud that buried a square mile on the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, near the village of Oso. He said the mudslide caused at least $10 million in lost buildings and personal property.
A major disaster declaration is required for individual victims to apply for aid. Inslee said the total included funeral expenses for up to 48 people.
President Obama has already authorized aid for search and rescue operations.
Officials said late Monday that at least 24 people had been confirmed dead and 22 remained unaccounted for. Only two natural disasters in state history have had higher death tolls: a 1910 avalanche that hit two trains stalled in Stevens Pass in the Cascades, killing 96; and the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, which killed 57.
The crews searching the area for victims are finding more human remains. But officials said the process of confirming deaths is slow because many of the bodies are in pieces.
Inslee said the slide destroyed 25 houses used as primary residences, and did so much damage to five more they are uninhabitable. Another 14 buildings -- 12 weekend or vacation homes and two outbuildings -- were damaged.
The slide blocked the Stillaguamish River and a highway, covering the area in mud as much as 40 feet deep. Inslee said some of those buried by the slide may never be found.
[The Seattle Times]