Letter to Joe Biden, President - Levin, Michigan Delegation Urge President Biden to Extend Major Disaster Declaraction for Macomb, Oakland and other Michigan Counties

Letter

Dear Mr. President,

We write in support of Governor Whitmer's request for an extension of the Major
Disaster declaration granted on July 15 following severe storms across the State of Michigan.
The Governor has requested to amend the Major Disaster declaration to include Macomb and
Oakland Counties, activate all Individual Assistance (IA) for Macomb and Oakland Counties and
activate Public Assistance (PA) for Ionia, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties.
We are grateful for the quick issuance of the Major Disaster declaration for Washtenaw
and Wayne counties in response to severe weather and flooding in Southeast Michigan and, in
other parts of the state, tornado damage that occurred on June 25 and June 26. Since that initial
declaration, additional damage assessments have been completed in the most impacted areas of
the state. These assessments highlight the need for further federal resources and assistance under
the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to allow our communities
to recover.

On August 9, Governor Whitmer requested a Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) to
verify damages applicable to Macomb and Oakland Counties, which concluded on August 11,
and identified that supplemental federal assistance is needed to cope with flooding damages in
these two counties. The initial Major Disaster declaration did not include Macomb and Oakland
counties; however, as the Governor detailed, the state still received over 1,000 FEMA assistance
applications from both counties, including 573 assistance applications from Macomb County
residents and 473 applications from Oakland County residents. Many of these damages are
concentrated in the most socially vulnerable areas, including disabled, poverty-stricken, underemployed and renter-occupied housing communities.

On August 25, assessments of public damages from tornadoes in Ionia County and
flooding in Washtenaw County and Wayne County concluded with over $120 million in costs for
emergency response and repairs to public facilities and infrastructure. Unfortunately, only $5.3
million in verified damage costs are eligible for assistance under the Public Assistance programs
(PA) and it is imperative that our communities can access this assistance. Remaining costs
ineligible for PA or covered by insurance policies will have to be covered by the state and local
government, putting additional fiscal strain on budgets and other government services in
communities trying to rebuild.

We are profoundly grateful for the work of the State and local agencies, non-profits and
businesses that have invested in and helped lead recovery efforts thus far for these counties.
However, additional assistance granted under the Individual Assistance program for Macomb
and Oakland Counties and Public Assistance for Ionia, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties is
necessary to ensure the physical safety and economic security of those impacted.
We urge you to grant the Governor's request and swiftly approve the extension of the
Major Disaster declaration so we can rebuild our communities and our constituents can recover
fully. Thank you for your consideration of our request.


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