FEMA has approved Governor Whitmer’s request for a federal emergency declaration that will provide additional resources to Midland County to respond to flooding. The office of Governor Gretchen Whitmer has released the following statement:
Today, FEMA approved Governor Whitmer’s request for a federal emergency declaration that will provide additional resources to Midland County to respond to the extreme flooding. This initial approval is limited to certain direct assistance from federal agencies to deal with immediate challenges, but could be expanded as the state and FEMA completes the damage assessment.
“The federal emergency declaration is a good start because it will help us take protective measures to protect lives and property from further damage,” Governor Whitmer said. “These devastating floods have forced thousands of people from their homes and caused a tremendous amount of damage to our infrastructure. I’m hopeful that the federal government will soon approve the full funding request to help Michigan families rebuild after this natural disaster.”
Beginning on May 16, 2020, a storm system moved through the State of Michigan, resulting in six to eight inches of rain over a 48-hour period. In response to the rainfall and localized flooding, Gladwin and Midland counties declared local States of Emergency on May 18, 2020, followed by the counties of Saginaw and Arenac on May 19, 2020. Due to the heavy rainfall, the Edenville Dam and subsequently the Sanford Dam were breached on May 19, 2020, which required over 10,000 Midland County residents to evacuate their homes due to the imminent danger from this 500-year flood event.
On May 19, Governor Whitmer declared a State of Emergency in Midland County. The following day, Governor Whitmer sent a letter to President Trump requesting federal aid in responding to the catastrophic flooding in Midland County.