FEMA denies U.P. counties’ request for winter disaster aid

Michigan communities have been denied disaster relief funds for the deep freeze experienced this past winter.

The Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division was notified that they did not meet the minimum threshold for consideration of a presidential disaster declaration.

On April 17th, Governor Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency for Marquette County to ensure all possible state resources could be given.

At the request of the State Police, FEMA conducted a virtual damage assessment to review the damages reported by local jurisdictions. Each impacted community was asked to submit disaster-related costs and supporting documentation, like photos, invoices and payroll records, to demonstrate damages from the deep freeze incident.

FEMA concluded that only $10.1 million dollars in damages submitted were eligible to meet the $13.7 million threshold.

“The cities are, I imagine, robbing Peter to pay Paul in some cases in order to deal with these disasters. I was disappointed, but it’s a long way from over. We will be appealing the decision and asking our federal legislators to come in and sit down so they can understand what these costs were and why. Right now, they are paper peddlers sitting in an office and going through all the figures. We would like them to come in and actually understand why certain things were done in the freeze,” Marquette County Board of Commissioners Gerald Corkin said.

The next board meeting of the county commissioners is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, August 5th.