President signs Michigan disaster declaration; federal aid coming


DETROIT – President Obama on Thursday declared a disaster in Michigan as a result of the August flooding and ordered federal aid to affected individuals in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.

The area was hit hard Aug. 11 with torrential rain flooding and power outages.

View: PDF of total rainfalls in southeast Michigan

Aid can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

"In the wake of August's historic storm and flash flooding, Michiganders have been tested and tried as they recover their lives," Gov. Rick Snyder said. "We are a resilient state that bands together to help each other when it's needed the most. This presidential declaration will provide assistance as people, businesses and governments recover. I appreciate the federal government's recognition of the severity of this incident."

Federal funding also is available to state, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms and flooding in the counties of Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

FEMA said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance Friday by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice. 

Residents still needing volunteer cleanup assistance are asked to call 2-1-1 to be connected with volunteers or fill out an assistance form at www.michigan.gov/miflood.