Gov. Rick Snyder announced Friday that President Donald Trump has declared a major disaster area for three counties in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula due to severe storms on June 16-17 that resulted in severe flood damage.
The affected counties include: Houghton, Gogebic and Menominee.
“As Michiganders continue to recover from this devastating flood, we are exploring every avenue for assistance,” said Gov. Snyder. “This presidential declaration is an important step in providing additional aid to those communities affected by this disaster.”
With this declaration, communities statewide are now also eligible to participate in the hazard mitigation assistance program that can help reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards. Mitigation measures reduce personal loss, save lives and lessen the cost of responding to and recovering from future disasters.
“Hazard mitigation assistance can help communities enhance the safety of Michigan residents,” said Capt. Emmitt McGowan, state deputy director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD). “I encourage communities to take advantage of this opportunity to implement projects to prevent loss of life and protect property.”
In addition to the presidential declaration for public assistance and hazard mitigation assistance, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has made low-interest disaster loans available to residents and businesses in Houghton, Gogebic and Menominee counties. Additional information about the SBA disaster assistance program is available at www.sba.gov. The presidential declaration does not include assistance for individuals and businesses.
Presidential Disaster Declaration Timeline
Gov. Rick Snyder declared a state of disaster for Houghton and Menominee counties on June 18, and added Gogebic County to the declaration on June 21, due to severe weather and widespread flooding, making available state aid and assistance to communities in the disaster area.
By declaring a “state of disaster,” the State of Michigan made available all state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery efforts in the disaster area, as outlined in the Michigan Emergency Management Plan.
Based on information provided by the MSP/EMHSD, state leaders requested a joint Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) with federal and local leaders to review and validate the most severely damaged homes, businesses and public facilities across the affected counties.
The teams conducted their assessments from June 26-29. State officials assessed the results and determined the extent of damage reached the level for receiving federal assistance.
On June 9, Lt. Gov. Calley requested that President Trump declare a major disaster as a result of the flooding damage in Houghton, Gogebic and Menominee counties.
Article V Section 26 of the Michigan Constitution gives authority for the lieutenant governor to act as governor when the governor is out of state.