Maryland Delegation Calls for Federal Emergency Declaration After Ida Storm Damage

An EF-2 tornado in Anne Arundel County and flash flooding in Cecil County and elsewhere created dangerous conditions that forced Marylanders from their homes during a brutal storm

September 30, 2021

WASHINGTON – The full Maryland congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Andy Harris, M.D., Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone, is urging President Joe Biden to approve the State of Maryland’s request for a presidential disaster declaration due to damage from the Sept. 1 tornadoes and flash flooding from Tropical Depression Ida. Anne Arundel County, Cecil County, and the City of Annapolis bore the brunt of the damage; each declared a state of emergency. At least 150 homes and businesses in Maryland were affected by this storm.

The State of Maryland has requested a major disaster declaration for Individual Assistance (IA) for Anne Arundel and Cecil Counties and the availability of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) for all jurisdictions in Maryland. A federal disaster declaration would unlock funds to help reimburse local governments, such as for the cost of rental assistance for displaced residents. The federal disaster declaration would also directly help residents, such as with home repair costs and replacement of personal belongings destroyed by the disaster. 

Individual Assistance (IA) includes the Individuals and Households Program; Crisis Counseling Program; Disaster Case Management; Disaster Unemployment Assistance; Disaster Legal Services; and Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program (HMGP) includes assistance to State, Tribal, and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for actions taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards.

The full letter is below and can be downloaded at this link.

September 30, 2021

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500


Dear Mr. President:

            We are writing as the Maryland Congressional Delegation to express our strong support for Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s request for a federal declaration of a major disaster for the State of Maryland due to the effects of Tropical Depression Ida, which had previously formed as a Category 4 hurricane that struck the Louisiana coastline. Specifically, we support Governor Hogan’s requests that a major disaster declaration for Individual Assistance be issued for Anne Arundel and Cecil Counties in Maryland, and for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to be made available to all jurisdictions in Maryland. 

            Congress is preparing to enact an emergency supplementary appropriations package in response to Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 storm that struck Louisiana on August 29 and later produced heavy flooding in parts of the northeast including New York and New Jersey. In Maryland, Anne Arundel County, Cecil County, and the City of Annapolis bore the brunt of Tropical Depression Ida. These jurisdictions each declared a state of emergency on September 2. According to the National Weather Service, an EF-2 tornado with peak wind estimates of 125 miles per hour (mph) affected southern Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis on September 1, causing substantial structural damage to homes and businesses. Preliminary damage assessments in Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis showed damage to 120 residences. The City of Annapolis Community and Economic Development Division estimates that approximately $3.84 million was lost from business revenue and destroyed inventory as a result of Ida.

In response, Anne Arundel County operated a family assistance center for two days in collaboration with state and local partners to provide information on housing, financial, feeding, and counseling support to affected residents. The City of Annapolis provided hotel rooms to displaced residents, opened an emergency shelter and a community resource center, and facilitated debris removal.

In Cecil County, flash flooding associated with Tropical Depression Ida required the evacuation of 63 residents from the Mill Creek Manor Mobile Home Park. The county has coordinated with nongovernmental partners to provide non-congregate shelter and food assistance to displaced families. The majority of residents sheltering in hotels speak Spanish as their primary language, do not carry any insurance coverage, and have lost most of their possessions in the flood.

Individual Assistance Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments conducted in both Anne Arundel and Cecil Counties on September 13 found numerous destroyed and damaged structures. These assessments support the need for the requested declaration and assistance.

We agree with Governor Hogan that supplementary federal assistance is necessary and warranted under the Stafford Act. Therefore, we urge you to expeditiously review and grant the Governor’s requests. Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to your timely response.


Cc: MaryAnn Tierney, Regional Administrator, FEMA Region III