On Tuesday, Governor Rick Snyder announced that President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster area for 16 counties across Michigan due to severe flooding that occurred in April and May.

In a statement, Governor Snyder said "the losses incurred by Michigan's communities have been severe due to the magnitude of the regional flooding. This presidential declaration is the first step in providing assistance to our state and local governments as they rebuild their roads, bridges and other public infrastructures. I appreciate the federal government's recognition of the severity of this incident and its prompt response."

While repairs and assessments to damaged areas in Michigan are on-going, the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division will hold applicant briefings across the state to help communities understand and start the application process.

Counties affected are Allegan, Barry, Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Ionia, Kent, Keweenaw, Marquette, Midland, Muskegon, Newaygo, Ontonagon, Osceola, Ottawa and Saginaw.

This presidential declaration does not include assistance for individuals and businesses. Governor Snyder declared a state of disaster on May 7th. FEMA then reviewed the request and advised the president whether a major disaster declaration should be granted.

In addition to the presidential disaster declaration, the U.S. Small Business Adminstration has made low-interest disaster loans available to residents and businesses.