Governor Whitmer Appeals FEMA Denial for Public Assistance for Ionia, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties
LANSING, MI (STL.News) Governor Gretchen Whitmer, today announced the State of Michigan is appealing the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial to activate the Public Assistance Program for Ionia, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties. The request was made following heavy rainfall and flooding across southeast Michigan in late June.
“I am going to fight for every available dollar to help communities across Michigan that were impacted by these historic storms,” said Governor Whitmer. “This federal assistance is still critically needed to support the recovery of public entities in Ionia, Wayne, and Washtenaw counties. We will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure they get that much-needed assistance.”
The appeal follows the completion of additional Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments with federal and local officials to validate the extent of damage in Ionia, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties.
If the Public Assistance Program is activated, local governments affected by the storms in Ionia, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties would be eligible for grants to supplement response and recovery costs. Those costs include debris removal, repairing roads, bridges, and public buildings, and damages to public utilities.
On June 25 and 26, heavy rainfall caused widespread flooding in southeast Michigan, damaging infrastructure and private property. On June 26, Governor 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 available all state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery efforts in the designated area. On July 13, Governor Whitmer sent a letter to President Biden requesting that he declare an emergency disaster for the state of Michigan. On July 15, President Biden issued a disaster declaration allowing individual assistance for Wayne and Washtenaw counties. On August 27, Governor Whitmer requested the Public Assistance Program be activated for Ionia, Wayne and Washtenaw counties. On October 8, FEMA denied that request. An additional Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment was conducted between October 19 and 27, and after further investigation of public damages to the counties of Wayne, Washtenaw and Ionia, an additional $12,128,069 in damages was confirmed by FEMA.