WASHINGTON – Today, Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Congressman John Carney (all D-Del.) urged President Obama to approve Delaware's request for a Major Disaster Declaration due to the effects of the winter storm on January 22, 2016. The request, made by Governor Jack Markell, will apply only to Sussex County, Delaware which sustained significant flooding as a result of the January storm. Governor Markell also requested that Hazard Mitigation Funding be made available to all three counties. According to Governor Markell’s letter, total expenditures from the storm are expected to be more than $2.56 million. If approved, the declaration will make Public Assistance Funds from the Federal Disaster Relief Fund available to the state to assist in the response and recovery effort.
“While effective emergency preparations prevented much of the damage last month’s storm could have caused, Sussex County and many communities around the state are still recovering from significant flooding.” said Sen. Carper. “The federal funds provided through the Federal Disaster Relief Fund will help get those communities hardest hit back on their feet, and help ensure Delaware continues to be prepared for similar disasters in the future. I thank Governor Markell for his leadership, and I urge President Obama to approve this Disaster Declaration as soon as possible.”
“Winter Storm Jonas packed a devastating punch last month and many Delawareans are still struggling from the effects of flooding in Sussex County,” said Sen. Coons. “Businesses, homeowners and our infrastructure all continue to feel the ramifications of the storm. I support Governor Markell in his request of a Major Disaster Declaration and I strongly urge President Obama to approve the disaster declaration in an effort to restore Delaware coastal communities and our infrastructure to pre-storm conditions.”
“Coastal communities in Delaware were hit hard, and they need help. I had the chance to see a lot of the damage and flooding immediately after the storm,” said Congressman Carney. “State and local resources are doing as much as possible, but we need federal assistance. I’m glad Governor Markell asked for help through a Major Disaster Declaration, and I urge President Obama to approve the request. It’s critical to helping our communities recover, and to guard against another storm doing even greater damage.”
From January 22 – 24, 2016, a winter storm dropped nearly two feet of snow on the state and brought with it significant winds and tidal surges. In Sussex County specifically, the storm resulted in severe flooding across coastal communities.
The Federal Disaster Relief Fund is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Public Assistant Funds are meant to help communities quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies.
Governor Markell’s request can be found here.