‘We will do what it takes to rebuild’ -- Governor Whitmer requesting federal aid for Gaylord
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Tuesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will participate in a preliminary damage assessment of Gaylord. It’s the first step in the process of requesting federal aid.
The Michigan town was devastated recently by an EF-3 tornado that killed two, injured 44, and literally tore buildings from their foundations.
“This assessment is a critical step in seeking federal aid for Otsego County by confirming the reported damage caused by Friday’s tornado,” said Governor Whitmer. “We are expediting the damage assessment process to ensure we receive all possible assistance for the people of Gaylord, as quickly as possible. Michiganders are tough, and together, we will do what it takes to rebuild.”
The joint Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) teams will be comprised of personnel from FEMA, the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, local governments and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“Gaylord is the heart of Michigan’s First District. While the recovery and cleanup effort by volunteers and First Responders in Gaylord has been monumental in just three short days, the effects of Friday’s tornado will leave a lasting impact on all of Otsego County,” said U.S. Representative Jack Bergman. “I appreciate FEMA’s willingness to expedite the damage assessment process and work together with state and local leaders to complete this process.”
Joint PDA teams are expected to begin gathering information in the affected communities Wednesday, May 24. They will be collecting estimated response and recovery costs, with a focus on the number of damaged buildings, extent of insurance coverage, displaced individuals and threats to health and safety.
The damage assessment is part of a process that could lead to the state requesting a federal disaster declaration and additional funding from the federal government.
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