WASHINGTON – The Maryland congressional delegation today praised the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for issuing a disaster declaration for the devastating storm and flooding that hit Ellicott City, broader Howard County, and Baltimore County in late May. The request for a disaster declaration for Baltimore City for the same storm is still pending.
“Disasters like the flooding our state experienced in late May demand that we come together as one united community, and that’s what Team Maryland has done,” the delegation said. “This storm caused incredible damage and put countless Marylanders in crisis. Partnering with local governments and nonprofits is a critical first step in our rebuilding efforts, but this federal disaster declaration was necessary to secure the resources our communities so desperately need.”
In a joint letter Friday, 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, requested President Trump approve the federal assistance “given the massive impact that this flooding had on state and local resources in Maryland.” In addition to the tragic loss of life, estimates for public infrastructure damages and repair caused by the storm at more than $10.5 million in Howard County and $8.6 million in Baltimore County – which far exceed local Public Assistance thresholds.
Based on the disaster declaration for the May 27-28, 2018 severe storm and flooding, 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 to access federal public assistance funding for emergency work and the repair or replacement of damaged buildings and infrastructure. Funding is now also available through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which provides 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.