FEMA denies appeal for UP appeal for assistance post 2023 Spring flooding

UP flooding FEMA denial

MARQUETTE, Mich. – In response to the appeal filed for assistance following the 2023 spring flooding in the U.P., FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) has responded with a denial.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer received a letter last week from FEMA explaining that her appeal, filed on October 18, for a major disaster declaration had been denied.

Whitmer, in the appeal, had focused on obtaining public assistance for Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Marquette and Ontonagon counties, with the inclusion of statewide hazard mitigation.

FEMA said: “We reaffirm our original findings that the impact from this event is not of the severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments.”

Responding to the news, state Rep. Jenn Hill, D-Marquette, released the following statement:

“I’m deeply disappointed with FEMA’s decision to deny the appeal for assistance in the aftermath of the devastating flooding that hit the U.P. last spring. FEMA’s denial stands despite the evident challenges faced by our communities and residents, who are still struggling to recover from the aftermath, and are now dealing with the lack of snow for our unique winter events and tourism. I know Yoopers will persist, and I won’t give up on fighting for us.”

It is reported that Houghton County Road Commission and other western U.P. road commissions had also filed claims to FEMA.

Houghton County Road Commission Engineer Kevin Harju indicated that they also received the same denial letter from FEMA on Dec. 26.

Harju further added that the Houghton County Road Commission had been able to secure funding for some damage via the Federal Aid system with the Federal Highway Association (FHWA). This allocation is estimated at approximately $5.5 million however it does require a 20% match by the Road Commission.

Harju also noted that the road commission will be working closely with legislators to try and fund this requirement.

— with files from uppermichiganssource.com

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