08.16.18

Peters, Stabenow Urge President Trump to Approve Individual Assistance Appeal to Help Families Affected by Severe Flooding in the Upper Peninsula

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today urged President Trump to approve Governor Snyder’s appeal of Individual Assistance for families affected by the severe flash flooding that occurred in Houghton, Gogebic and Menominee counties. FEMA denied the State of Michigan’s request for Individual Assistance last week. The Governor’s appeal indicates that only 18 individuals and businesses have active flood insurance and without federal assistance, the majority of the over 900 homeowners suffering major structural and electrical damage will be without necessary resources.

This follows calls by Senators Stabenow and Peters for the Administration to approve a major disaster declaration for the three communities in order to provide federal assistance. Public Assistance was made available to public facilities such as roads, culverts and water and sewer systems; however, many homeowners are still in need of Individual Assistance to repair extensive damage to their homes.

“We have seen firsthand the extensive damage and heard from those affected by the flash flooding that additional assistance is needed,” wrote the senators. “We urge you to accept the Governor’s appeal and swiftly provide the requested assistance, so the residents and business owners in these communities can recover from this disaster.”

The text of the letter may be found below.

 August 16, 2018

 President Donald J. Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing in support of Governor Snyder’s August 14, 2018 appeal of the denial of Individual Assistance for those affected by the severe flash flooding that occurred in Houghton, Gogebic, and Menominee counties on June 16-18. The appeal comes after you granted the Governor’s request for Public Assistance to help rebuild public infrastructure, but denied Individual Assistance to help property owners repair or rebuild their damaged homes and businesses.

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.

We have seen firsthand the extensive damage and heard from those affected by the flash flooding that additional assistance is needed. The flooding affected an estimated 900 homes, causing major structural damage, electrical damage, furnace and water heater damage, and extensive mold. Without access to the necessary resources, families may end up staying in homes with unsafe living conditions. Further, the economy of the affected areas depend heavily on tourism, which has significantly decreased because of the flooding.

As noted in the Governor’s appeal, only 18 individuals and businesses have active flood insurances policies in the three counties where the flooding occurred. Nonprofits and local governments are doing their best to assist homeowners but without adequate federal funding, it will be nearly impossible to bring in the necessary resources to make the repairs quickly and ensure families have a safe home before winter.

The people of the State of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are resilient, and we commend the work of federal, state, and local officials to provide assistance. However, there is still much work to be done to ensure the safety of all those affected by the storms. We urge you to accept the Governor’s appeal and swiftly provide the requested assistance, so the residents and business owners in these communities can recover from this disaster. Thank you for your consideration of our request. 

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