The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Trump declares disaster for UP storm


August 4, 2018


WASHINGTON — Gogebic, Houghton and Menominee counties will be able to use federal assistance in recovering from the rain and flooding in the mid-June storms, after President Donald Trump issued a federal disaster declaration Thursday.

The declaration makes funding and other resources available to state, tribal and eligible local governments and other organizations for emergency work and repairs to infrastructures and facilities damaged by the flooding in the storms of June 16-18, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Gov. Rick Snyder declared a state disaster for Houghton and Menominee counties June 18 and added Gogebic County to the disaster June 21.

“I want to thank President Trump and FEMA for working with our federal, state and local officials for granting a major disaster declaration for Gogebic, Houghton and Menominee counties. The public assistance and hazard mitigation will lend a helping hand to repair our infrastructure and prevent risks to life and property from natural hazards in the future,” state Rep. Scott Dianda, D-Calumet, said in a statement. “We will ensure assistance is used wisely to do the most good for the most people. I’ll continue to work with our federal officials to ensure individual assistance is granted to help homeowners get the relief they need from the severe damage we endured from June’s storms.”

While the official declaration is for those three days, any eligible costs in Gogebic County from the rains and flooding June 15 are covered by the declaration, according to Gogebic County Road Commission Engineer-Manager Darren Pionk.

Pionk said FEMA considers the various rainstorms in those days as a single storm event for the purpose of the declaration, and the declaration’s dates are based on when the storms hit Houghton County, where the worst of the damage was.

While Gogebic County sustained roughly $80,000 in damage to its roads, Pionk said the county escaped the worst of the storm.

“We fared really good with that storm flooding event. Yeah there were a lot of roads closed, and water over the roadways, but our structures held together,” Pionk said.

He said the $80,000 included the emergency response to road flooding and permanent repairs, but other county and municipal entities could have additional damage costs.

Wisconsin is awaiting a decision in its federal disaster request for Ashland, Bayfield, Iron, Burnett, Clark and Douglas counties, where over $13 million in damage occurred during the mid-June storm.

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