Whitmer appeals FEMA denial to add metro Detroit counties to major disaster declaration

The request was made following heavy rainfall and flooding across southeast Michigan in late June.
Flooding in Michigan after June 2021 storms.
Flooding in Michigan after June 2021 storms.(MSP / Twitter)
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 11:16 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Friday Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the State of Michigan is appealing the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial to expand the Major Disaster Declaration in southeast Michigan to include households in Macomb and Oakland counties.

The request was made following heavy rainfall and flooding across southeast Michigan in late June.

“The impact of these storms has been widespread, affecting multiple counties in Michigan. We know, nearly three months later, many families still need help recovering, which is why I’m appealing their decision to get the resources that Michiganders need right now,” said Gov. Whitmer. “We will not stop working with our federal partners to ensure our communities get assistance to recover from the damage caused by these unprecedented events. And I will continue to advocate for the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill so that we can build more resilient infrastructure to the effects of severe storms.”

The plea follows the completion of added joint preliminary damage evaluations with federal and local officials to substantiate the magnitude of damage inflicted upon homes across both counties.

If added to the federal declaration, households affected by the flooding would be eligible to apply for aid to include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help people and businesses recover.

Timeline of SE Michigan flooding, June 2021

  • June 25 and 26: heavy rainfall caused extensive flooding in southeast Michigan, damaging infrastructure and private property.
  • June 26: Gov. Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Wayne County, later adding Huron, Ionia, and Washtenaw Counties. By declaring a state of emergency, the governor made all state resources available in cooperation with local response and recovery efforts in the specified area.
  • July 13: Gov. Whitmer sent a letter to President Biden asking that he declare an emergency disaster for the state of Michigan.
  • July 15: President Biden issued a disaster declaration allowing individual assistance for Wayne and Washtenaw counties.
  • August 27: Gov. Whitmer requested Oakland and Macomb Counties be included in that disaster declaration.
  • September 2: FEMA denied the August 27 request.

Read the appeal letter below.

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