The White House said Thursday that President Joe Biden has approved a disaster declaration for Michigan due to last month’s heavy rainfall that led to basement and street flooding in the Detroit area.
“President Biden’s declaration opens up critical resources to help Michigan residents recover from this disaster,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a statement. “The flooding on June 25-26 had devastating impacts on Wayne and Washtenaw County residents who suffered damage to their homes, loss of personal property, and faced unimaginable stress.”
Whitmer sent a letter to Biden on July 13 requesting that he declare an emergency disaster for the state of Michigan.
Word that Biden ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts came a day after a regional water authority board said it was forming a committee to look at its response to the crisis.
The committee will lead the Great Lakes Water Authority board’s independent investigation and hire engineering and legal firms to assist in the review, Michelle Zdrodowski, spokeswoman for the authority, said in an email.
The federal declaration also makes federal grants and low-cost loans available to residents and business owners in Detroit, other parts of Wayne County and Washtenaw County who were affected by the storm.
Federal Emergency Management Agency staffers were in Detroit and neighboring communities last week assessing damage from the flooding. After the storm, Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Detroit and surrounding Wayne County.