WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will award a grant totaling $19.2 million to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) for disaster recovery projects in Gogebic, Houghton and Menominee Counties. The fundingwill be used to repair highways and roads that were significantly damaged as a result of the flash flooding that occurred in communities across the Upper Peninsula in June of last year.
“I saw firsthand the devastation of the flooding last year – much of which occurred without warning. But I was also struck by the resiliency of these communities that worked tirelessly to repair their homes and businesses and support their neighbors,” said Senator Peters. “I urged the Department of Transportation to provide resources to help neighborhoods impacted, and I’m pleased the agency is now taking the necessary steps to help Michiganders as they work to rebuild stronger than ever.”
“I had the chance to see the destruction last year and strongly advocated for this funding,” said Senator Stabenow. “This is an important step forward for the families and communities impacted by the flood in recovering from this devastating damage.”
“Houghton County is very pleased to hear about the $19.2 million in federal aid that is to be received to support the ongoing road work to recover from the Father’s Day flooding and we are extremely grateful to Senators Stabenow and Peters for their efforts in obtaining this funding,” said Eric Forsberg, Houghton County Administrator. “This has been, and continues to be, a long and stressful process for many Houghton County residents but, thanks to the efforts of our Road Commission and city crews, tremendous gains have been made in the effort to repair our roads and an end is in sight.”
“The Houghton County Road Commission is grateful to receive the funds necessary to pay for repairs to roadways damaged in the Father’s day flood,” said Kevin Harju, P.E., Manager of the Houghton County Road Commission. “Several of the repairs have been completed and there are more repairs that will need to be completed this summer. The Houghton County Road Commission is still working on securing an addition $3 million to pay the required 20% match requirement for federal aid projects. These funds will help us to be able to continue to design and repair damages caused by the flood.”
Last August, Senators Peters and Stabenow wrote a letter to President Trump urging him to consider then-Governor Snyder’s appeal of the denial of Individual Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Trump Administration’s refusal of this funding – despite the assessment of state and local officials on the ground – denied assistance to property owners across the Upper Peninsula that needed to repair or rebuild their damaged homes and business due to the flash floods. The appeal came after the President had granted his earlier application for Public Assistance grants at the request of Peters and Stabenow, which are allocated to help rebuild public infrastructure.