Preparedness & Recovery

President Approves Disaster Declaration for Recent Flooding in Michigan

Communities are now eligible for the hazard mitigation assistance program that can help reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards.

by John Kennett Jkennett@mdn.Net, Midland Daily News, Mich. / August 3, 2017
A box truck traverses a flooded portion of North Union Road between Seven Mile Road and Fraser Road in Bay County, Mich., on Friday, June 23, 2017. AP/Jacob Hamilton

(TNS) - Today, President Donald Trump approved a major disaster declaration for Midland, Bay, Gladwin and Isabella counties along with the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe within Isabella County after the area experienced severe flood damage from storms on June 22-23.

“The losses sustained by these communities have been severe due to the magnitude of the flash flooding,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “This presidential declaration is an important step in our continuing efforts to provide assistance and help Michigan families and businesses recover from the effects of this disaster.”

The decision releases federal funds for state and local governments to use in disaster recovery efforts and to help reduce the risk of such an event in the future. In addition, the disaster declaration makes individual assistance available to the families still recovering from recent flooding.

U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar welcomed the president's decision.

"State and local governments in mid-Michigan have done an outstanding job in the aftermath of June's flooding, but the cost of cleanup and recovery was more than they could bear alone," Moolenaar said. "Today's decision to grant federal assistance from FEMA will go a long way toward helping communities and families rebuild."

Individuals seeking assistance in the formal disaster area can register with FEMA by visiting www.DisasterAssistance.gov or calling 1-800-621-3362. Those who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service, call 1-800-621-3362.

With this declaration, communities statewide are now eligible to participate in the hazard mitigation assistance program that can help reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards. Mitigation measures reduce personal loss, save lives and lessen the cost of responding to and recovering from future disasters.

“I strongly encourage communities to seize the opportunity for hazard mitigation assistance to enhance the safety of Michigan’s residents,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, commander of the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division. “With federal aid, our communities can initiate projects to save lives and protect public property and health.”

In addition to the presidential declaration for individual assistance and hazard mitigation assistance, the U.S. Small Business Administration has made low-interest disaster loans available to residents and businesses in Bay, Gladwin, Isabella and Midland counties. Additional information about the SBA disaster assistance program is available at www.sba.gov.

The presidential declaration does not include assistance for costs incurred by state and local governments due to damage to public facilities and infrastructures because those costs did not meet the federal threshold for assistance. However, Snyder has opened the state’s Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund, which allows eligible local governments affected by the flooding to apply for assistance grants for up to $100,000 or 10 percent of the previous year’s operating budget, whichever is less.

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©2017 the Midland Daily News (Midland, Mich.)

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