President approves major disaster declaration for mid-Michigan counties hit by May floods | Michigan Radio
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President approves major disaster declaration for mid-Michigan counties hit by May floods

Jul 9, 2020

Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for mid-Michigan counties affected by May’s floods.

The president tweeted on Thursday that he approved a major disaster declaration to provide more than $43 million in federal funds to “help the people of the GREAT State of Michigan recover from the recent dam break flooding.” 

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding also is available to state, tribal and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms and flooding

Trump credited Republican Congressman John Moolenaar with making the request, while the actual request came from Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The request was for assistance for Arenac, Gladwin, Iosco, Midland and Saginaw counties.

Whitmer described the declaration as “an important step” in efforts to help people in Midland and Gladwin counties rebuild after a 500-year flood.

May 19, two dams failed after days of heavy rain. The resulting torrent of water created a record flood on the Tittabawassee River. 

More than ten thousand people were forced to evacuate their homes. Many people in Midland and Gladwin counties are still living in campers, tents or with family or friends.

The 500-year flood caused an estimated quarter billion dollars in damage to private property and public infrastructure.