Whitmer asks FEMA for flood damage assessment in Wayne County

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has requested the Federal Emergency Management Agency conduct a joint preliminary damage assessment with state and local officials to review damages and response costs related to heavy rainfall and flooding in Wayne County last weekend, her office announced Wednesday.

The request was granted by FEMA and is the next step in the effort to seek federal assistance.  

A minivan is abandoned along a flooded Currier Street in Dearborn Heights on Saturday, June 26, 2021.

“This assessment is necessary to confirm the reported damage caused by last weekend's historic flooding and is a critical step in seeking federal aid,” Whitmer said in a statement. “We are exploring all options and pursuing every possible solution to help Michiganders in Wayne County get the resources they need to recover from the damage caused by this devastating flood.” 

The joint assessment teams are slated to include personnel from FEMA, the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, local governments and the U.S. Small Business Administration, according to the release.

The teams are expected to begin gathering information in the affected communities as early as next week, "with a focus on the number of damaged buildings, displaced individuals and threats to health and safety," officials said.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joins with city officials in Detroit Monday, June 28, 2021 to discuss weekend flooding in Metro Detroit that hit the city and several surrounding communities particularly hard and prompted a state of emergency in Wayne County.

Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Wayne County on Saturday to tap state resources with local response and recovery efforts.

Areas in Detroit received more than 6 inches of rainfall in about five hours on Saturday, a record downpour that beat the city's 4.57 inches of rainfall in August 2014 that triggered another flooding emergency and federal aid. Some spots were doused with as much as 7 inches. 

Communities across Metro Detroit, particularly in Wayne County, are still assessing damage.