(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The Maryland congressional delegation sent a joint letter to President Trump on Friday urging the Administration to move swiftly to approve the state’s request for federal major disaster declaration and supplementary assistance following the mid-May flash-floods that devastated Howard County, Baltimore County and Baltimore City.
“We are writing to express our strong support for Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s request for the declaration of a major disaster for Howard County, Baltimore County, and Baltimore City…” the delegation wrote. “Given the massive impact that this flooding had on state and local resources in Maryland, we respectfully request that you expeditiously approve the provision of supplementary federal assistance, pursuant to the Stafford Act.”
The full congressional delegation, including Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Elijah E. Cummings, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Andy Harris, M.D., John K. Delaney, Anthony G. Brown and Jamie B. Raskin, noted that the May 27-29 storm overwhelmed water and transportation infrastructure, causing severe damage to residences and small businesses in the region. In Howard County, Ellicott City’s historic Main Street – which suffered $23 million in damages from a major flood in 2016 – felt the largest impact. Flooding there ravaged streets, sidewalks and buildings, leading to the tragic death of a Good Samaritan and veteran, and the displacement of business owners and residents. Flood waters also caused critical damage to Baltimore’s Frederick Avenue, and left residents with ongoing damages to their homes. In Baltimore County, several bridges will need to be fully replaced, while sewer and water systems are in need of extensive repairs.
The congressional delegation cited initial estimates for public infrastructure damages and repair caused by the storm at more than $10.5 million in Howard County, $8.6 million in Baltimore County, and $3 million in Baltimore City – all of which far exceed local Public Assistance thresholds.
The Disaster Declaration would allow state and local government officials and certain private non-profit organizations to access federal public assistance funding for emergency work and the repair or replacement of damaged buildings and infrastructure. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program would provide grants to states and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration, in order to reduce the loss of life and property in future disasters.
The full letter can be found here.