Donnelly, Young, Indiana Delegation Urge President Trump to Grant Disaster Declaration for Indiana Following Severe Storms and Flooding

Indianapolis, Ind. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, along with U.S. Senator Todd Young, today led the Indiana delegation in urging President Trump to approve Governor Holcomb’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration for Indiana following severe storms and flooding that impacted the state between February and March. The delegation’s effort follows the state of Indiana’s request to the President earlier this week. The declaration would provide necessary federal assistance to Indiana’s counties affected and significantly improve recovery time. More than 1,800 homes were affected and an assessment estimated that individual damages exceeded $19.8 million.  

The request would declare Major Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance for Carroll, Clark, Elkhart, Floyd, Harrison, Jefferson, Lake, Marshall, and St. Joseph counties and a Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance for Benton, Clark, Crawford, Dearborn, Elkhart, Floyd, Fulton, Gibson, Harrison, Jasper, Jefferson, LaPorte, Marshall, Newton, Ohio, Perry, Porter, Spencer, St. Joseph, Starke, Switzerland, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Wabash, Warren, Warrick, and White counties. 

The delegation said, in part, in the letter to the President, “The storms and flooding inflicted extensive damage across the state, including significant damage to homes, businesses, utilities, infrastructure, and transportation networks. We urge you to expeditiously consider and approve the Governor’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Indiana. We believe that timely federal assistance is necessary and will significantly improve Indiana’s recovery time following this disaster.” 

To see the full text of the letter, click here or see below. 

President Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

 

Dear Mr. President:

 

We write to express our strong support for Governor Eric Holcomb’s April 27, 2018 request for a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Indiana following severe storms and flooding that impacted the State of Indiana between February 14, 2018 and March 4, 2018. Governor Holcomb has requested a Major Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance for Carroll, Clark, Elkhart, Floyd, Harrison, Jefferson, Lake, Marshall, and St. Joseph counties. He has also requested a Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance for Benton, Clark, Crawford, Dearborn, Elkhart, Floyd, Fulton, Gibson, Harrison, Jasper, Jefferson, LaPorte, Marshall, Newton, Ohio, Perry, Porter, Spencer, St. Joseph, Starke, Switzerland, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Wabash, Warren, Warrick, and White counties.

 

Between the dates of February 14 and March 4, storms and heavy rainfall over ground already saturated by heavy snow led to severe flooding across the state. As a result, many areas of Indiana experienced historic and unprecedented levels of flooding and damage. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the month of February was the wettest month on record for the State of Indiana. NWS estimates that over 70 percent of this precipitation occurred over just three days—February 19-21, 2018.

 

The storms and flooding inflicted extensive damage across the state, including significant damage to homes, businesses, utilities, infrastructure, and transportation networks. Sixty-two state roads, over four hundred local and county roads, and numerous bridges were deemed impassable and closed due to the incident, delaying emergency response teams, school buses, and commerce. The flooding also damaged levees, sewer and water systems, energy infrastructure, and agricultural crops, among other things.

 

In the Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment conducted in March 2018, FEMA reported that 1,865 homes were affected by flooding in Indiana, and estimated that individual damages exceeded $19.8 million. FEMA also verified that counties eligible for public assistance sustained over $14.1 million in damages. Recent disasters in Indiana have forced the state government to use funds from the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) to respond to events that don’t meet the threshold for a Presidential major disaster declaration. While the State of Indiana has responded to this disaster to the fullest extent possible, the SDRF does not have sufficient funds to adequately address this disaster, and we believe that federal disaster assistance is necessary in order to provide effective relief to the people of Indiana.

 

We urge you to expeditiously consider and approve the Governor’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Indiana. We believe that timely federal assistance is necessary and will significantly improve Indiana’s recovery time following this disaster.

 

Sincerely,

 

U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly

U.S. Senator Todd Young

Representative Jim Banks

Representative Susan Brooks

Representative Larry Bucshon

Representative André Carson

Representative Trey Hollingsworth

Representative Luke Messer

Representative Todd Rokita

Representative Pete J. Visclosky

Representative Jackie Walorski

About Brian Scott

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