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President signs disaster declaration for 16 Michigan counties hard hit by spring floods

Lindsey Smith/Michigan Radio

President Obama has approved a disaster declaration for 16 Michigan counties hard hit by spring floods.   

Heavy rains in April and May inundated communities across the state. 

The president’s disaster declaration will help communities repair and rebuild roads, bridges and other public infrastructure damaged in the flooding. The disaster declaration does not include assistance for individuals or businesses.

State and federal agencies will soon hold briefings across the state to help communities understand and start the application process. Communities in the 16 counties are also eligible for help to reduce or eliminate long-term risks from natural hazards.

The counties include Allegan, Barry, Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Ionia, Kent, Keweenaw, Marquette, Midland, Muskegon, Newaygo, Ontonagon, Osceola, Ottawa and Saginaw.

“This presidential declaration is the first step in providing assistance to our state and local governments as they rebuild their roads, bridges and other public infrastructure,” says Governor Rick Snyder, “I appreciate the federal government’s recognition of the severity of this incident and its prompt response.”

Previously, the Small Business Administration made low-interest disaster loans available to residents and businesses affected by Spring floods in Kent and several neighboring counties.

U.S. Senator Carl Levin issued a written statement praising the federal government’s response to Michigan’s Spring floods:

“The flooding in Michigan was historic and unlike anything seen in decades. State and local communities responded quickly, but with the damage so severe, federal assistance is necessary. Today’s news is very welcome and the federal assistance should help ensure a faster recovery for those who were hard hit.”

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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