WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Thursday evening said he has declared a major disaster because of flooding and dam breaks in mid-Michigan in May, providing more than $43 million in federal relief aid.
"I will always stand with Michigan," Trump said in announcing his approval of the federal disaster request on Twitter. While the request was made by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, Trump said he was approving it at the request of U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, who represents the area where the flooding occurred.
At the request of Congressman Moolenaar, I have 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. I will always stand with Michigan!
-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2020
The funding will be made available to individuals and businesses impacted by the flooding and dam breaks that began May 17 along several rivers, especially the Tittabawassee, in several mid-Michigan counties, including Midland.
Both the Edenville and Sanford dams were breached, resulting in the evacuation of more than 10,000 people.
The Midland Daily News said Moolenaar's office said the aid will be provided to individuals and businesses through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Businesses Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
More: Trump declares mid-Michigan flooding an emergency, authorizes FEMA aid
Last month, Moolenaar led a bipartisan effort among the state's congressional delegation to secure the disaster declaration, saying the flooding "destroyed homes and upended the lives of so many residents" and required "assistance that goes beyond what local and state government can provide."
Whitmer said the state found there were more than 3,700 properties impacted and damages of more than $190 million because of the flooding, though not all of that was eligible for federal funding. Trump initially approved a federal emergency declaration on May 21 but a major disaster declaration was needed to provide additional funding.
Contact Todd Spangler: [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @tsspangler. Read more on Michigan politics and sign up for our elections newsletter.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Trump approves major disaster in mid-Michigan, freeing up millions for flood victims
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