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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane Valley hopes FEMA will help cover windstorm damage to parks

When the November windstorm hit four months ago, it tore up trees, ripped down power lines and damaged homes across the region.

In Spokane Valley, five parks sustained an estimated $165,000 worth of damage.

“We had damage at Castle, Edgecliffe, Valley Mission, Sullivan and Terrace View parks,” said Mike Stone, Parks and Recreation director in Spokane Valley. “It was mostly downed trees, with the exception of Sullivan and Terrace View where we had fences down and other damage.”

Stone said the parks lost about 50 mature trees; about 35 of them were in Terrace View Park.

That’s also where a tree destroyed the older children’s play structure.

“A tree fell right down the middle of it,” Stone said.

It will cost about $50,000 to replace the play structure, Stone said.

All the trees have been logged out and the debris cleaned up, but left are the deep craters where root balls used to be.

“We still have to fill the holes and put new sod down,” Stone said, and there are places where sprinkler systems were damaged. They can’t be repaired until the weather is warmer and more stable.

The damage was documented in photos by parks staff and Stone said he hopes the Federal Emergency Management Agency will foot part of the bill.

Depending on when the damage was reported and what it is, FEMA is expected to pay between 70 and 85 percent of the bill, Stone said.

“Unfortunately, many of the trees we lost were large and between 50 or 60 years old,” Stone said.

The Spokane Valley Parks Department has not made any plans to replant trees.

“It’s very sad that we lost so many, but compared to Spokane we made out pretty well,” Stone said. “And no one was injured or killed.”

He said he hopes property owners aren’t too scared of another windstorm to leave some of the big trees behind.

“They do add so much to a neighborhood,” Stone said.

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