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Politics & Government

Whitmer highlights more aid for Detroit area flood victims

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Sarah Cwiek
/
Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday that more help is on the way for victims of the June 26 storm that led to major flooding in and around Detroit.

The flooding swamped basements, totaled cars, and caused other damage. Whitmer said she moved quickly to declare it a disaster, which eventually led to a federal disaster declaration—and aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Whitmer said at least 30,000 people have signed up for federal disaster assistance so far.

But not everyone is going to get federal aid, or enough of it to cover what they lost. Whitmer said that’s why the state has chipped in another $10 million, to be distributed to affected local communities.

“It’s essentially to fill that gap,” Whitmer said. “We’re sending the funds to local governments, and the local governments will distribute the dollars in their communities to folks with the greatest need.”

“So while $10 million is a good start, and it will make a meaningful improvement for a lot of people, we know that we’ve got a bigger infrastructure challenge, and that our work is far from over.”

Whitmer said she’s actively seeking more state and federal aid for flood recovery, and long-term infrastructure upgrades. The state is requesting $50 million from the federal government to repair damaged highways and purchase back-up pump station generators, and Whitmer is pushing the Michigan Clean Water Plan, which would put $250 million into water and sewer systems, and $40 million for community climate resiliency.

Whitmer said extreme weather events driven by climate change are the new reality, and we need to confront that to mitigate future disasters. “The reality is events like this are happening more and more often,” she said. “We have to build our infrastructure to meet the current needs.

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