LANSING, Mich.(WZMQ) – UP law makers are speaking out following The Federal Emergency Management Agencies (FEMA) denial of assistance with flood damages. Following rain and snowmelt in May, six counties in The UP experienced damages that have yet to see repair.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer visited The UP in April to declare a state of emergency and to survey flood damages. Following the declaration, The Michigan State Police filed for emergency assistance from FEMA, which after months of waiting, has been denied.
According to Lieutenant Steve Derusha, The Upper Peninsula’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security District Liaison with The Michigan State Police, the damages around The UP could cost an excess of $10 million to fix.
House Representative for the 110th district Greg Markkanen said, areas of his district have just recovered from The Fathers Day Floods in 2018. He said the Houghton County Road Commission was granted $550,000 to fix the damages, but that it’s just a fraction of what’s needed to fully recover.
“They still have about 8 million is repairs that Houghton county and the other counties just can’t pick up, these counties don’t have the budgets to do that so this funding is very important.” Markkanen said. “I know we’re just a quiet corner of the united states but we get a lot of tourism. Up places like Brockway mountain drive get thousands and thousands of people a day and it hasn’t been repaired since the 50s.”
Lieutenant Derusha said an appeal is set to be filed with FEMA this October. If the relief is granted, he says another sight survey will most likely need to completed, and if they don’t hear back from FEMA about the appeal before winter, any survey may have to wait until the snow melts in the spring. Lieutenant Derusha also said that if relief is granted, it’s up to our state legislators to create special appropriations to pay for flood damages to start the repairs.