Gov. Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting a major disaster declaration in response to the flooding and dam failures last month in Arenac, Gladwin, Iosco, Midland, and Saginaw counties.
“Last month’s flooding and dam failures upended the lives of thousands of Michigan families and business owners at a time when we were just beginning to reopen our economy following weeks of working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Whitmer said. “This natural disaster coupled with a global health pandemic, has created enormous stress and emotional trauma for these residents, and they need the federal government’s help to begin rebuilding their lives.”
In May, Whitmer declared a State of Emergency for the counties affected by the dam failure.
According to Whitmer, the state requested and received a federal Emergency Declaration for Midland and Gladwin counties, which unlocked limited federal assistance.
On Monday, May 27, Whitmer said she directed the EGLE to launch an investigation into what caused the Edenville and Sanford dams to fail.
According to Whitmer, the flooding caused more than $190 million in losses for residents and over $55 million in immediate response cost and damages to public buildings and infrastructure.
“This 500-year disaster has impacted everyone from homeowners and renters to businesses and farmers throughout Mid-Michigan, and I urge the federal government to provide the resources necessary to ensure they don’t suffer financial hardships for years as they attempt to repair and restore their damaged homes and business,” Whitmer said. “We will get through this together and will emerge stronger on the other side.”
According to Whitmer, the flooding was caused by an area of low pressure stalled across the Great Lakes region, bringing a prolonged of rainfall to the area for two days.