LANSING — On Wednesday Governor Rick Snyder declared a second state of disaster for Houghton County after heavy rainfall and widespread flooding on July 12 caused damage to the area still recovering from flash flooding in June. This declaration will allow the state to make additional resources available and open the Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund to provide more financial assistance.
In a press release, Snyder said, “As Michiganders in Houghton County continue to recover from severe flooding, we want to do all we can to get the community back on its feet quickly. While progress is being made in this situation, some of the local resources have been exhausted. This funding will help cover some of the costs incurred while responding to and recovering from this incident.”
By declaring a “state of disaster,” the state of Michigan makes available all state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery efforts in the disaster area as outlined in the Michigan Emergency Management Plan. Gov. Snyder’s declaration authorizes the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) to coordinate state efforts.
On July 13, Houghton County declared a local state of emergency after heavy rains caused widespread damage to homes and infrastructure on July 12. This follows a state of disaster declaration by Gov. Snyder for Gogebic, Houghton and Menominee counties for flash flooding on June 16-17.
Eligible local governments affected by the flooding can apply for assistance grants for up to $250,000 for a county or municipality with a population under 25,000, $500,000 for a population between 25,000 and 75,000, $1.0 million for a population greater than 75,000, or 10 percent of the previous year’s operating budget, whichever is less.
The Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund is used when communities demonstrate an exhaustion of local resources during a disaster or emergency. The money can be applied toward the immediate prevention, response and recovery of a disaster or emergency, as well as cover overtime for public employees, contracts used during the response, shelter supplies, gasoline used during the response and repair of public buildings and infrastructure.
Under extraordinary circumstances, the governor may authorize reimbursement from the fund to provide state assistance to counties and municipalities when federal assistance is not available.
The MSP/EMHSD will administer the grant program and assist local governments with applying for the funds.