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Snyder Seeks Presidential Disaster Declaration to Assist 16 Counties in Wake of Recent Flooding

michiganseagrant, Flickr

Governor Snyder has requested President Obama to declare a major disaster for the state of Michigan as a result of severe flood damage that occurred in 16 counties from April 16 to May 14.

The affected counties include: Allegan, Barry, Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Ionia, Kent, Keweenaw, Marquette, Midland, Muskegon, Newaygo, Ontonagon, Osceola, Ottawa and Saginaw.

Because of the severity and magnitude of the flooding, Snyder has requested supplementary federal aid in the form of public assistance to help cover some of the costs incurred by state and local governments due to damage and to public facilities and infrastructures. This request doesn’t include assistance for individuals or businesses.

Snyder said he commends the “first responders and and volunteer organizations for acting quickly to ensure the safety of citizens affected by this flooding event.” Snyder noted he is making the request “to make available additional resources to further help or communities recover from this flooding that impacted much of the state.”

Based on information provided by the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, state officials requested five federal Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) teams to verify and review the most severely damaged homes, businesses, and public facilities and infrastructures across the state’s upper and lower peninsulas. The teams conducted their assessments from May 9-22. State officials assessed the PDA results and determined the extent of damage may reach the level for receiving federal assistance.

Snyder’s request will be reviewed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which will advise the president whether a disaster or emergency declaration should be granted.

In addition to requesting a presidential declaration, Snyder will file a request for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance for Kent County, which will also provide SBA assistance for the neighboring counties of Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo and Ottawa.

If approved, the SBA disaster assistance program will provide low-interest disaster loans for uninsured losses incurred by homeowners, renters, businesses and nonprofit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed.

Snyder declared a state of disaster on May 7, making available state resources to help address any remaining threats to public health and safety due to the severe flooding.

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