Michigan receiving $86 million in federal disaster relief for June flooding

Riley Beggin
The Detroit News

Washington — Michigan is slated to receive $86 million for flood recovery and disaster resilience through federal grants announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The grants will be aimed at recovery from flooding last June, when heavy rainfall left thousands without power and freeways dotted with water-logged, abandoned vehicles in Metro Detroit. It can also be used to build resilience to future natural disasters in low- and middle-income areas.

The state of Michigan will receive $12.1 million while the cities of Detroit and Dearborn will receive $57.6 million and $16.3 million, respectively. 

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said in a Tuesday statement that the funding is "critically needed for our efforts to protect residents living in our most flood prone neighborhoods."

At least a portion of the money will go to permanent protections in the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood for basement flooding and other damages from rising water levels in the Detroit River, Duggan said, adding that the money will also help expand a "basement protection" program being tested in Jefferson Chalmers to other parts of the city. 

The funding is part of $3 billion in community development block grants aimed at improving disaster recovery in historically marginalized and low-income communities. Eight other local governments and 12 other state governments received grants through the program, according to HUD. 

"The $3 billion in disaster recovery funds will strengthen recovery efforts and improve long-term inclusive resilience to further disasters and climate impacts," HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge told reporters Tuesday. "Communities will have greater resources and focus to ensure equitable outcomes for underserved households that too often bear the brunt of climate-related disasters."

Michigan, Detroit and Dearborn governments will be required to develop an action plan that shows how they intend to use the money and make them publicly available for comment for at least 30 days.

Then HUD will review the plans and allocate the funding. That process can take as few as a few months and up to a year, said Kevin Bush, deputy assistant secretary for grant programs at HUD. 

Last June, more than 6 inches of rain fell on parts of the Detroit area, causing street and basement flooding and knocking out power in tens of thousands of homes.

President Joe Biden approved a major disaster declaration in the wake of the storms, making temporary aid for housing, home repairs and more available, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer approved $10 million in state emergency aid available to recover from the disaster. 


Twitter: @rbeggin