Michigan Lawmakers Urge President Biden to Issue Major Disaster Declaration After Otsego County Tornado

Three Michigan lawmakers have sent a letter to President Biden urging him to declare a major disaster for Otsego County after an EF-3 tornado caused two deaths, dozens of injuries and millions of dollars of damage on May 20.

In a letter to the President, Senators Gary Peters, Debbie Stabenow and Representative Jack Bergman asked that the President, “…approve this declaration as soon as possible to direct federal resources towards the site of destruction caused by an EF-3 tornado, which significantly damaged homes and businesses in the area.”

The letter to President Biden comes after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer requested a major disaster for Otsego County on Wednesday, asking for supplementary federal aid such as grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and businesses recover.

The full letter from Peters, Stabenow and Bergman can be found below:

Dear Mr. President:

We write to support Governor Whitmer’s recent request for a Major Disaster declaration, including activation of all Individual Assistance programs, for Otsego County. We ask that you approve this declaration as soon as possible to direct federal resources towards the site of destruction caused by an EF-3 tornado, which significantly damaged homes and businesses in the area.

On May 20, 2022 at approximately 3:50 p.m. EDT, a tornado went through Gaylord and surrounding areas, tragically resulting in the loss of two lives and 44 other injuries among residents. This horrible disaster also destroyed businesses, devastated the Nottingham Forest Mobile Home Park, displaced residents from their now-uninhabitable homes, and left considerable debris in its wake. The survivors—especially the many low-income, uninsured and underinsured, and senior citizens residing in the area—will need federal assistance. It is likely that there will be significant disaster related unemployment due to the storm’s impact on businesses.

The state, county, and local governments stepped up to meet this disaster with all available resources and authorities. Emergency first responders including brave volunteers, EMS, Michigan Task Force 1, and the Michigan State Police have been working on the ground since the event, providing lifesaving assistance in the face of cell service interruptions, downed power lines, and gas leaks. However, federal assistance will also be required to help the community fully recover.

Gaylord is home to some of the most resilient and selfless citizens in our nation. Nevertheless, additional resources are needed so the residents and business owners in this community can recover from this disaster. Your approval of this request is urgently needed to cover a crucial gap in financial support for these efforts. Thank you for you swift attention to this critical matter.”

Categories: Gaylord Tornado