September 09, 2020

Maryland Delegation Calls for Federal Emergency Declaration In Wake of Tropical Storm Isaias

“We agree that Isaias is of such severity and magnitude that effective response and recovery is beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments, and that supplementary federal assistance is necessary.”

WASHINGTON – The full Maryland congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Andy Harris, M.D., Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone, is urging President Donald Trump to approve the State of Maryland’s request for a declaration of a “major disaster” following Tropical Storm Isaias. The lawmakers also requested that the federal government cover a larger share of the overall costs than the typical 75 percent and support mitigation efforts to prevent future damage from similar storms.

“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,” they wrote Wednesday in a letter to the president.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has a significant impact on state and local governments responding to natural disasters during this extremely active Atlantic hurricane season.  We support increasing the federal cost share for Isaias recovery, due to the cumulative impact of this disaster and the ongoing pandemic. … Additionally, we support Maryland’s request for Hazard Mitigation Assistance, to help prevent and reduce long-term risk to life and property from future natural disasters.”

The full letter follows and can be found at this link.

 

September 9, 2020

President Donald J. Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 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 the declaration of a major disaster for the State of Maryland as a result of the impacts from Tropical Storm Isaias.  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. 

                On August 3 and 4, 2020, Tropical Storm Isaias impacted Maryland with wind gusts up to 72 mph, spreading debris over roadways and across power lines, resulting in over 75,000 power outages and one fatality.  The torrential rain – over nine inches in parts of Maryland – caused flooding which washed out roadways and bridges in multiple counties.  Isaias spawned nearly a dozen tornadoes across the state, causing significant damage to public infrastructure and private property.  Recovery efforts will include debris removal, as well as permanent work to repair infrastructure damaged by flooding and wind.

Calvert, Dorchester, and St. Mary’s Counties bore the brunt of the tropical storm, with an estimated $17.1 million in damages in those three counties as a result of Isaias.  However, storm damage was reported through the entire state.  For example, Charles and Cecil counties experienced extensive damage to roads and bridges, creating ongoing travel hazards.

                The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has a significant impact on state and local governments responding to natural disasters during this extremely active Atlantic hurricane season.  We support increasing the federal cost share for Isaias recovery, due to the cumulative impact of this disaster and the ongoing pandemic.  We agree that Isaias is of such severity and magnitude that effective response and recovery is beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments, and that supplementary federal assistance is necessary.  Additionally, we support Maryland’s request for Hazard Mitigation Assistance, to help prevent and reduce long-term risk to life and property from future natural disasters.

            We therefore urge you to expeditiously review and approve Maryland’s request for a major disaster declaration for Isaias.  Thank you for your timely consideration of this request, and we look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

 

CC: The Honorable Peter T. Gaynor, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency

The Honorable MaryAnn E. Tierney, Regional Administrator for FEMA Region III

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