Biden Approves Whitmer’s Emergency Disaster Declaration Request for State

The torrential rain and flooding of June 25-26 in Wayne and Washtenaw Counties left countless people with damaged vehicles, waist-deep water in their basements, and destroyed keepsake items.


Many more people were also left wondering how would they afford to pay for the damages caused by the flooding that hit so close to home.


Help, however, is on the way in the form of assistance after President Joe Biden approved on Thursday, July 15 Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s request for disaster declaration for Wayne and Washtenaw Counties following the record flooding.


The declaration comes after Whitmer sent a letter to President Biden on July 13 requesting that he declare an emergency disaster for the state of Michigan.


“President Biden’s declaration opens up critical resources to help Michigan residents recover from this disaster,” said Whitmer. “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. With the resources we will receive thanks to President Biden’s leadership, we will put Michiganders first and help our communities recover and rebuild.”


On June 25 and 26, heavy rainfall caused widespread flooding in Wayne and Washtenaw Counties, damaging infrastructure and private property. On June 26, Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Wayne County. On July 8, Governor Whitmer added Washtenaw County to the state of emergency declaration. By declaring a state of emergency, Whitmer made available all state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery efforts in the designated area.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan made a statement on Biden’s news to the people of Detroit and southeast Michigan.

“We are really pleased the presidential disaster declaration for the June 25-26 flooding was issued in half the time of the August 2014 declaration, allowing Detroiters to get help much more quickly,” Duggan said in his statement in which he also thanked Whitmer and other state officials for their quick response and collaboration with the City of Detroit to prepare for the declaration. “I also want to thank FEMA Region 5 Manager Kevin Sligh, Sr. who has been hands-on from the beginning.”

Duggan added in his statement that the city will support FEMA setting up operations in Detroit immediately; the effort will be led by COO Hakim Berry, Deputy Chief of Staff Elisa Malile and Detroit Water & Sewerage Department (DWSD) Director Gary Brown.

Presently, anyone with flood damage should get debris out of their basement and to the curb for Detroit Public Works Department bulk pick up. Residents are also asked to have their basement cleaned and sanitized, along with keeping receipts, photos of the damage and other supporting documents. FEMA provides reimbursement, not cleaning services.

Residents and businesses with flood damage should immediately apply for FEMA reimbursement. Even if you completed the DWSD claim form online or by mail, you still need to apply to FEMA and you can start the process at or by call 800-621-FEMA (3362).


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