WASHINGTON – The Maryland congressional delegation today praised the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for its swift approval of Maryland’s request for a federal major disaster declaration and supplementary assistance following the devastating mid-May rain, landslides and flooding in Fredrick County, including the City of Frederick, and Washington counties.
“When disasters hit our communities, Team Maryland speaks with one strong voice on behalf of all Marylanders caught in crisis,” the delegation said in response. “These storms came fast and brought incredible damage to Frederick and Washington Counties. Without question, partnering with our local governments and nonprofits to rebuild and restore damaged neighborhoods was the right thing to do.”
In a joint letter one week ago, 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, had called on President Trump to approve the federal assistance since the “severity and magnitude” of the storms and flooding because “effective recovery is beyond the capabilities of the State of Maryland and Frederick and Washington County governments alone.” The congressional delegation cited initial estimates for public infrastructure damages and repair in Washington County at about $4.5 million, and for Fredrick County, including the City of Frederick, at around $8 million.
Based on the disaster declaration, 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 the May 15-19, 2018 storm. 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.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has already approved a similar request for a physical disaster declaration for Frederick County and surrounding areas due to the same storm events.