Michigan lawmakers back disaster declaration request after UP flooding

(WLUK) — Upper Michigan’s congressional delegation is asking President Donald Trump to approve Lt. Gov. Brian Calley’s request for a major disaster declaration following flash flooding last month.

Authorities estimate the damage in Houghton, Gogebic and Menominee counties at $42 million.

U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, and Rep. Jack Bergman sent this letter to Trump:

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing in support of Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley’s request on July 9, 2018 for a major disaster declaration for the State of Michigan as a result of severe flash flooding that occurred in Houghton, Gogebic, and Menominee counties on June 16-17. This request comes after federal, state, and local officials conducted a Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment in the counties affected and determined that federal assistance was needed.

In mid-June, heavy rainfall in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula resulted in flooding that has had devastating impacts on homes, businesses, and public infrastructure. Federal, state, and local officials working on the ground conducted assessments from June 26-29, and determined the level of damage required federal assistance. As the Lt. Governor described in the request, the extensive damage and required recovery efforts extend beyond the capacity of the State and local governments.

The Lt. Governor is requesting Individual Assistance from the federal government to support eligible residents with home repairs and uninsured property losses and assistance to help businesses recover from this disaster. Additionally, the Lt. Governor is requesting Public Assistance to support the State and local governments in their efforts to repair damaged public facilities and infrastructure, including considerable damage to roads and bridges.

The people of the State of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are resilient, and we commend the work of federal, state, and local officials to promptly assess the damage from the flooding. While summer is currently in full swing, the Upper Peninsula’s unpredictable weather can significantly shorten the traditional construction season. Any damage that is not addressed before the season ends could be compounded by the snow melt in the spring and increase the risks to the affected communities. We urge you to issue a federal major disaster declaration swiftly and to provide the requested assistance so the residents and business owners of these communities can begin to recover from this disaster. Thank you for your consideration of our request.

by FOX 11 News

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