disaster

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Two people were killed inside a news helicopter when it crashed outside the KOMO-TV studios near the Space Needle in Seattle, sending clouds of black smoke into the sky during the rush hour at 7:40 a.m. Tuesday.

In addition to the fatalities, Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore said a man managed to free himself from one of the burning cars at the accident scene. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of serious burns. The man, who was initially listed in critical condition, was upgraded to serious condition Tuesday afternoon.

Erin Kohlenberg / flickr.com

It's official now. The January snow and ice storm was a disaster!

President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster exists in 11 Washington counties that were hard hit by the storm during the period of January 14-23, 2012.

Preliminary estimates indicate more than $32 million in eligible damages.