WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) were joined by members of Maryland’s Congressional Delegation today in applauding President Barack Obama for issuing a Declaration of Disaster for Maryland in the wake of Super-Storm Sandy. Senators Mikulski and Cardin were joined by U.S. Representatives Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), Roscoe E. Bartlett (R-Md.), Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), John P. Sarbanes (D-Md.) and Donna F. Edwards (D-Md.).
“I am pleased that the President has taken this first step in providing important public assistance disaster relief for 17 Maryland counties and Baltimore City, as well as hazard mitigation relief for the entire state,” Senator Cardin said. “The request for individual disaster relief is still pending and I will continue to work with the Governor and local officials to help ensure greater assistance for individuals and families affected by Hurricane Sandy.”
“As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, I want the families and communities still struggling to recover from Super-Storm Sandy to know that they have a government on their side,” Senator Mikulski said. “Super-storm Sandy has been a super burden on Marylanders across our state. Public assistance and hazard mitigation is good news for communities from the Eastern Shore to Western Maryland. It will provide much needed support as we work to recover and rebuild lives and businesses. While we’re grateful for this disaster declaration, I will continue to support Governor O’Malley’s request for Individual Assistance for Lower Shore communities impacted by this storm.”
“I’d like to thank President Obama and Maryland’s Congressional delegation for understanding the importance of this much-needed assistance for our citizens,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Our federal partners have been vital in our recovery, and we look forward to working together as we continue to build a more resilient Maryland in the days ahead.”
“I’m pleased that Southern Maryland and other affected communities across our state will now be eligible for federal disaster recovery dollars,” stated Congressman Hoyer. “This funding will ensure that our local communities have the assistance they need to recover from the storm without putting additional strain on our state and local budgets.”
“Our local and state officials and hundreds of volunteers performed magnificently, but I welcome this Presidential Disaster declaration because Super-Storm Sandy overwhelmed local and state resources as it inflicted wide-spread and varied damage just within the Sixth District of Maryland,” Congressman Bartlett said. “This was the worst storm in 30 years in Garrett County. I personally viewed significant damage to the towpath on the C&O Canal at the Cushwa Basin during a tour of Washington County.”
“I commend President Obama’s decision to approve a disaster declaration for Maryland following Super-Storm Sandy as this ensures we will have access to funds critical to our state’s continued recovery,” Congressman Cummings said. “Although Maryland’s petition for individual assistance remains under review, I am hopeful that this review can be completed as quickly as possible.”
“Super-Storm Sandy inflicted significant damage in the state of Maryland, and this declaration will help communities rebuild. I applaud the President’s decision, and I will continue to work with local, state, and federal officials to ensure we have the resources necessary to recover from this storm,” said Congressman Chris Van Hollen.
“The funds that have been approved for the Public Assistance Grant Program will provide our local community leaders much-needed budget relief. The cost for preparedness measures and spending on the cleanup of the aftermath will be ongoing. These funds are needed to supplement the already strapped local budgets,” Congressman Ruppersberger said.
“Super-storm Sandy was an historic event and caused severe damage and disruption throughout the region,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “Governor O’Malley and President Obama should be commended for their response to this disaster and we should continue to make critical resources available to the impacted communities as they work to recover.”
“I join the Maryland Delegation in thanking President Obama for moving quickly to sign the Disaster Declaration for Maryland in the aftermath of Super-Storm Sandy. No one works better together than Team Maryland in emergency responses. Our effort will ensure that available funds help repair and rebuild affected communities,” Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards said.
Affected communities across Maryland will now be eligible for federal disaster recovery dollars through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), ensuring the state’s already strained budget is not stretched any thinner. In declaring that a major disaster exists in the State of Maryland, President Obama ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local preparation and recovery efforts in the area affected by Super-Storm Sandy during the period of October 25 to November 4, 2012.
Federal public assistance funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Hurricane Sandy in the counties of Allegany, Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico, and Worcester and the Independent City of Baltimore. Hazard mitigation is also available statewide for all counties and the Independent City of Baltimore. FEMA is still reviewing Maryland’s request for individual assistance.
Team Maryland urged President Obama to support Governor O’Malley’s request for a Disaster Declaration following Super-Storm Sandy. That request is available here.