(copy of letter sent to President Donald Trump concerning the Copper Country)
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing in support of Governor Snyder’s August 14, 2018 appeal of the denial of Individual Assistance for those affected by the severe flash flooding that occurred in Houghton, Gogebic, and Menominee counties on June 16-18. The appeal comes after you granted the Governor’s request for Public Assistance to help rebuild public infrastructure, but denied Individual Assistance to help property owners repair or rebuild their damaged homes and businesses. In mid-June, heavy rainfall in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula resulted in flooding that has had devastating impacts on homes, businesses, and public infrastructure. Federal, state, and local officials working on the ground conducted assessments from June 26-29, and determined the level of damage required federal assistance. We have seen firsthand the extensive damage and heard from those affected by the flash flooding that additional assistance is needed. The flooding affected an estimated 900 homes, causing major structural damage, electrical damage, furnace and water heater damage, and extensive mold. Without access to the necessary resources, families may end up staying in homes with unsafe living conditions. Further, the economy of the affected areas depend heavily on tourism, which has significantly decreased because of the flooding. As noted in the Governor’s appeal, only 18 individuals and businesses have active flood insurances policies in the three counties where the flooding occurred. Nonprofits and local governments are doing their best to assist homeowners but without adequate federal funding, it will be nearly impossible to bring in the necessary resources to make the repairs quickly and ensure families have a safe home before winter. The people of the State of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are resilient, and we commend the work of federal, state, and local officials to provide assistance. However, there is still much work to be done to ensure the safety of all those affected by the storms. We urge you to accept the Governor’s appeal and swiftly provide the requested assistance, so the residents and business owners in these communities can recover from this disaster. Thank you for your consideration of our request.
Sen Gary Peters
Sen Debbie Stabenow