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Michigan appeals FEMA decision to deny emergency funding request for 3 counties hit by June floods

A flood in the streets going up to the doorsteps of houses.
Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Intense rainfall in metro-Detroit led to catastrophic flooding in 2021. This photo shows flood waters completely covering the streets going up to the doorsteps of houses.

The State of Michigan is appealing a federal agency’s decision to deny emergency funds for three counties hit by floods in June.

Between June 25 and 26, storms dumped up to eight inches of rain on parts of Michigan, causing millions of dollars of damage. President Joe Biden approved a disaster declaration less than a month later.

In August, Governor Gretchen Whitmer requested the federal Public Assistance program be activated for Wayne, Washtenaw and Ionia Counties. Under the program, local governments 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.

But last month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied the request.

“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,” said Whitmer.

In a detailed letter, Whitmer this week asked FEMA to reconsider the request, citing a new damage assessment finding $12 million in additional damage in the three counties.

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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