118K structures hit by floods
Washington – — More than 118,000 homes and businesses were damaged causing at least $1.1 billion in damage, Gov. Rick Snyder said in his 10-page request to the White House seeking a federal disaster declaration for the Aug. 11-12 flooding.
"Federal relief is definitely needed to address the unmet needs of those most severely affected by the flooding," Snyder wrote.
The Detroit News first reported Wednesday that the damage amounted to $1.1 billion. A Federal Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman said Wednesday the agency has no timeline to make a decision on its recommendation to President Barack Obama, but promised "due diligence" on the request.
The Snyder letter noted that Metro Detroit got 4.57 inches of a rain — its second highest rainfall total for a single day, just behind the record 4.74 inches set July 31, 1925. The letter noted that more than 80 percent of homeowners don't have floor or sewer backup insurance.
The report also found $16.7 million in public damage costs — mostly debris removal, but also for damage to public buildings and equipment.
The damage was focused on Detroit, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Oak Park, Royal Oak, Southfield, Warren, Sterling Heights, Center Line and Clinton Township.
In Warren, 40 percent of the homes — or nearly 23,000 homes — were damaged. In Dearborn, 7,600 homes were damaged, while 7 percent of Detroit's homes suffered damage.
The state still needs help to meet needs like temporary housing assistance, housing repair, debris removal, mold and contaminant removal, replacement of damaged items.
Snyder said Michigan received a federal disaster declaration last year for flooding and also suffered a deep freeze in April in the Upper Peninsula and northern lower Peninsula. "These incidents have stretched Michigan's relief and recovery resources to their limits," Snyder wrote.
A letter led by U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, is being sent Thursday morning urging Obama to endorse the disaster declaration request. Michigan's two senators and 11 House members signed the letter.
Three Michigan Republicans did not sign — U.S. Reps. Justin Amash of Cascade Township, Kerry Bentivolio of Milford and Dan Benishek of Crystal Falls.
Birmingham attorney Dave Trott, who defeated Bentivolio in the Aug. 5 GOP primary, said he would sign the letter if he had a chance, a campaign spokeswoman said Thursday.Democratic opponent Bobbie McKenzie also said he would support the letter.