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FEMA crews set to hit the ground in Metro Detroit this week to assess flood damage

Beenish Ahmed
Michigan Radio

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay a visit to Metro Detroit later this week to assess the damage left in the wake of torrential rain and flooding on June 26.

FEMA crews, along with state and local officials, will conduct what are called Preliminary Damage Assessments, which are meant to identify the extent of the damage caused by a disaster.

Those assessments will then go to the state for review. If state officials decide the damage overwhelms state and local resources, Governor Gretchen Whitmer can ask FEMA for a formal disaster declaration. That could result in a Presidential disaster declaration, which would free up federal disaster relief money for impacted people and communities. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan lobbied President Joe Biden for that in Traverse City this past weekend.

According to Michigan State Police Captain Kevin Sweeney, FEMA crews will hit the ground on Thursday. They will focus on Detroit and Wayne County, which were hardest-hit by the massive rainstorm that left many flooded basements, totaled cars, and other damage in its wake. But they also hope to take a look at flood damage in Washtenaw, Huron, and Ionia counties.

In another facet of the process, Wayne County faces a Tuesday deadlineto submit local communities’ damage assessment claims to the state, which will pass them on to the federal government. These are based in part on damage assessments filled out by residents, but are separate from the process of making a claim to local municipalities. Local governments set the deadlines for those claims.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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