WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, and Senator Chris Van Hollen, along with Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Andy Harris, M.D., Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin, and David Trone today wrote to U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman urging the agency to approve the State of Maryland’s request for a physical disaster declaration due to damage from Tropical Depression Ida.
From August 31 to September 4 of this year, the storm caused tornadoes and flash flooding in several counties in the state. The Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs) conducted by SBA and the Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) confirm that nearly 200 homes and businesses across the state were damaged during the storm, with Montgomery County, Anne Arundel County, Cecil County, and the City of Annapolis bearing the brunt of the storm. The damage exceeds SBA’s minimum threshold for a disaster declaration. If granted, SBA’s declaration will qualify eligible homes and businesses for SBA disaster assistance programs.
The Maryland lawmakers also encouraged SBA to grant the disaster declaration to all contiguous counties, including Baltimore, Calvert, Howard, Hartford, Kent, Prince George’s, and Baltimore City.
The state’s September 27 request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance following the storm was denied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The full letter follows and can be downloaded here.
The Honorable Isabella Casillas Guzman
United States Small Business Administration
409 3rd Street, SW
Washington, DC 20416
Dear Administrator Guzman:
We are writing to strongly encourage you to grant the physical disaster declaration request submitted to the Small Business Administration (SBA) by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan on October 15.
As you know, from August 31 to September 4, several areas in the state of Maryland experienced substantial damage due to Tropical Storm Ida. Initial damage reports showed nearly 200 homes and businesses affected by flooding and tornado damage. Based on Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs) conducted by the SBA, the Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM), and officials from affected counties, sufficient damages have been substantiated in Montgomery, Anne Arundel, and Cecil counties to justify a physical disaster declaration in those counties. In addition, all contiguous counties, which include Baltimore, Calvert, Howard, Hartford, Kent and Prince George’s counties, as well as Baltimore City, should also qualify for such a declaration.
Although the State of Maryland’s request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance following Tropical Storm Ida was denied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), PDA findings for Maryland clearly show that at least 25 homes or businesses have sustained a minimum of 40 percent uninsured losses, thereby exceeding the standard required for a disaster declaration making SBA assistance available to affected homes and businesses.
We appreciate your prompt attention to the Governor’s request, and thank you for your commitment to assisting businesses and families that are the victims of natural disasters.
CC: Kem Fleming, Director, Office of Disaster Assistance, Small Business Administration