Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is requesting that President Joe Biden declare a major disaster for Otsego County following the EF-3 tornado from May 20. This comes after an in-depth assessment of the damage done to the area.
“We are doing everything in our power to secure all available assistance for the people of Gaylord as quickly as possible,” said Governor Whitmer. “A presidential declaration would open up additional federal resources necessary to help the Gaylord community recover. Tough times call for tough people, and I know that the Michiganders in Gaylord will get through this. Let’s keep working together to support all of the ongoing efforts to recover and rebuild.”
Gov. Whitmer has requested supplementary federal aid in the form of Individual Assistance to help eligible residents. This would include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help people and businesses recover.
This comes after the governor’s request that Michigan State Police’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division conduct a join Preliminary Damage Assessment with federal and local officials to review and assess the scope of the damage to the homes and businesses in the Gaylord area. The assessment started on May 25, and state officials reviewed the results and determined the extent of damage along with the challenges that would be faced in recovery efforts for residents and businesses. They determined that it reached the necessary level to apply for federal aid.
Gov. Whitmer’s request will be reviewed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which will advise President Biden whether a disaster declaration should be granted.