Press Releases

Delaware Delegation Asks President to Approve Disaster Declaration Request

Cost of Tropical Storm Henri estimated to be over $4.3 million

Sep 23 2003

Washington, DC - Today, Senators Biden and Carper and Congressman Castle sent a letter to President Bush asking him to approve as quickly as possible Delaware's request for a major disaster declaration due to Tropical Storm Henri. The letter from the delegation stresses that the large scale flash flooding caused irreparable damage to dozens of homes, businesses and other structures. The letter also describes the destruction in Glenville, where approximately one hundred residents were literally given minutes to evacuate as the rushing waters of the Red Clay Creek surrounded their homes. Once the federal government issues an emergency declaration for Delaware, the State may seek reimbursement for expenses related to the storm. A copy of the letter follows: September 22, 2003 Dear President Bush: The State of Delaware, under the provisions of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, submitted a request last week that you declare a major disaster for the State of Delaware as a result of Tropical Storm Henri, which greatly affected New Castle County, Delaware on Monday, September 15, 2003. We respectfully request your urgent attention. Tropical Storm Henri's impact on parts of Delaware was devastating. Over a 14-hour period, a total of 8 to 10 inches of rainfall occurred with most of the rain falling within a 3- hour period. Large scale flash flooding caused irreparable damage to dozens of homes, businesses and other structures in the northern region of our State. In one community, Glenville, approximately one hundred residents were literally given minutes to evacuate as the rushing waters of the Red Clay Creek surrounded their homes. This is the second time in four years that these homeowners have been wiped out by severe flooding. This record rainfall caused extensive damage to homes, roads and bridges. According to preliminary damage reports, the communities of Glenville, Hockessin, Yorklyn, Newport, Wooddale and Marshallton sustained the most severe damage from this massive flooding. Clearly, the impact of these storms has been staggering for Delaware. The cost of this one-day storm is estimated at over $4.3 million. In a letter written to you on September 18, 2003, Governor Ruth Ann Minner wrote that "this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and the affected local governments." Because of this, we are asking that you approve as quickly as possible Delaware's request for a major disaster declaration due to Tropical Storm Henri. We will be glad to provide any assistance you might need. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Joseph R. Biden, Jr. ; United States Senator Thomas R. Carper; United States Senator Michael N. Castle; United States Congressman cc: The Honorable Ruth Ann Minner, Governor of Delaware