President Trump approves Michigan Emergency Declaration for Midland flood

President Donald J. Trump declared that an emergency exists in the state of Michigan and ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from severe storms and flooding beginning on May 16, 2020, and continuing.

Trump toured the Ford Motor Company Rawsonville plant Thursday and talked about the Emergency Declaration, saying he spoke to Governor Gretchen Whitmer this morning.

"Let us send our love to all the families that have been displaced from the flood in Midland," Trump said. "Americans are praying for central Michigan. The governor and I had a great conversation this morning. We signed an emergency declaration very quickly." 

The president's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts to  alleviate the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide assistance for emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in Midland County.

Downtown Midland is just one of many square miles of mid-Michigan flooded, as the  2,000-acre Wixom Lake was drained in about an hour due to "castastrophic dam failures" at the Edenville Dam, about 140 miles north of Detroit, and the Sanford Dam, about seven miles downriver. About 10,000 people have evacuated.

“The federal emergency declaration is a good start because it will help us take protective measures to protect lives and property from further damage,” Governor Whitmer said. “These devastating floods have forced thousands of people from their homes and caused a tremendous amount of damage to our infrastructure. I’m hopeful that the federal government will soon approve the full funding request to help Michigan families rebuild after this natural disaster.”

FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide equipment and resources to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Protective measures, limited to direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding. 

Pete Gaynor, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named James K. Joseph as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.