(WXYZ) — President Trump has approved Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's request for a major disaster declaration for the mid-Michigan counties hit hard by floods caused by dam failures back in May.
"At the request of Congressman Moolenaar, I have approved a major Disaster Declaration to provide more than $43 million in Federal Funds to help the people of the GREAT State of Michigan recover from the recent dam break flooding. I will always stand with Michigan!" President Trump wrote in a tweet Thursday evening.
- Gov. Whitmer asks President Trump for federal emergency declaration, aid for Midland County
- Whitmer writes letter to Trump requesting federal disaster declaration over flooding
Gov. Whitmer declared a state of emergency for mid-Michigan counties on May 19 as a result of heavy rain and dam failures in the area, which lead to major flooding and damage. A federal emergency declaration was approved for Midland and Gladwin counties, allowing for limited federal assistance.
Then on May 27, Whitmer expanded her declaration to include Losco County. The governor also directed the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) to launch an investigation into what caused the Edenville and Sanford dams to breach.
“Seeing the people and businesses of these communities pull together to help one another after this 500-year flooding event continues to inspire me,” Whitmer said. “The devastation of this disaster touched thousands of Michigan families and businesses and this federal declaration is an important step in our efforts to continue to provide assistance as they recover and rebuild.”
Here is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under the disaster declaration issued for the state of Michigan:
- Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements. (Source: FEMA funded and administered.
- Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional. (Source: FEMA funded and administered)
- Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs. (Source: FEMA funded at 75 percent of total eligible costs; 25 percent funded by the state)
- Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals. (Source: FEMA funded; state administered)
- Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses. Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration)
- Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster's adverse economic impact. This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration)
- Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence. (Source: Farm Service Agency, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture)
- Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans’ benefits and social security matters.
How to Apply for Assistance:
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or by calling 1-800-621- FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 TTY. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily until further notice.
Application procedures for state, tribal, and local governments will be explained at a series of applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.