Reps. Markkanen, Prestin frustrated after FEMA rejects request for assistance following springtime flood damage

Damaged roads and sidewalks were covered in sand and debris after snow melt flooding in Lake...
Damaged roads and sidewalks were covered in sand and debris after snow melt flooding in Lake Linden - April 2023(wluc)
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 3:14 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(WLUC) - Two Michigan State Representatives are expressing their frustration after a request for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was rejected following major damage to the Upper Peninsula between April and May.

Reps. Greg Markkanen and Dave Prestin said the denial letter from FEMA has prompted them to highlight the need for federal assistance in the wake of the extreme flooding.

“When severe flooding in the U.P. caused millions of dollars of damage and serious safety concerns for Yoopers this Spring, the state sprung into action and requested a Presidential Declaration from FEMA for a much-needed lifeline,” said Markkanen, of Hancock. “FEMA overlooked the substantial havoc caused by the flooding, and rejected Michigan’s request – neglecting the needs of those in my community.”

According to a press release, the request for a major disaster declaration would have brought much-needed public assistance, and hazard mitigation to the Upper Peninsula to assist folks who were directly impacted by the flooding.

“FEMA’s denial came with the explanation that ‘the impact from this event was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state,’” said Prestin, of Cedar River. “This is a slap in the face to the thousands of Yoopers who faced overwhelming damage to their homes and properties, the small and large businesses affected, along with the many first responders who risked their lives. Further, the flooding made it impossible to enjoy the recreational opportunities we so often boast about here in the U.P.

“This is not a partisan issue – it’s a matter of safety.”

Damages in Houghton, Marquette and Ontonagon counties are estimated to cost around $2-3 million, reports show, while Gogebic County is facing a bill closer to $7 million.

Michigan State Police in Newberry (Luce County) have since appealed FEMA’s decision.