Stabenow, Peters, Bergman urge President Trump to issue Disaster Declaration for the UP

Jul 11, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.--   U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Gary Peters (D-MI) and Representative Jack Bergman (R-MI) yesterday urged President Trump to approve Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley’s request for a major disaster declaration following severe flash flooding that affected Houghton, Gogebic and Menominee counties. 

The Lt. Governor’s request describes the damage from the flooding in the three counties as extensive – estimated at more than $42 million in covered damage to public facilities – and requiring federal assistance. If approved, federal assistance and resources to the communities and families affected would be made available through various federal sources including FEMA and the Small Business Administration. 

“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,” wrote the lawmakers. “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.”

The text of the letter may be found below.

July 10, 2018

President Donald J. Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, DC 20500

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.