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Governor DeWine requests Presidential Disaster Declaration for 8 counties impacted by April storms

Ohio Governor's Office, Press Release

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration from President Joe Biden to support eight counties impacted by severe storms, flooding and tornadoes in early April, despite FEMA's assertion that damage does not reach the threshold for federal assistance.

The weather events took place on April 1-4, 2024, causing significant damage to critical public infrastructure in Belmont, Monroe, Jefferson, Guernsey, Noble, Washington, Morgan and Meigs counties.

In a letter sent to the White House, Governor DeWine stated that local officials and the Ohio EMA calculated total damage of $33.8 million, well above the $21.7 million federal threshold for public disaster assistance in Ohio. FEMA's damage estimate was $17.4 million, which is $4.3 million under the federal threshold for public aid.

"Frankly, we think FEMA's estimate is incorrect," said Governor DeWine. "The federal government's reliance on Google Earth and its failure to give local officials the opportunity to provide additional information to support its estimate is concerning. These eight Appalachian counties cannot afford to fix the tremendous amount of infrastructure damage on their own, and I believe it's the President's duty to step in and help."

The letter can be viewed here.

If granted, the Presidential Disaster Declaration would provide grants to state and local governments and certain non-profit organizations for infrastructure repairs and to address the costs associated with debris operations and emergency protective measures. This also includes the designation of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program statewide.

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