Del. Governor Requests Federal Disaster Declaration for Septembe - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Governor Requests Federal Disaster Declaration for September Storm and Flooding

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Harbeson Road is shown Thursday morning, Sept. 29. (Photo: Anita Thomas) Harbeson Road is shown Thursday morning, Sept. 29. (Photo: Anita Thomas)

DOVER, Del.- Gov. Jack Markell has submitted a formal request to President Barack Obama, asking for a presidential disaster declaration for the state of Delaware as a result of the severe storm and flooding that impacted the state Sept. 29 and 30, Delaware Emergency Management Agency officials said Friday. 

In his letter to Obama, the governor noted the two days of exponential rainfall and tidal flooding that occurred along the Delaware coast and lower Delaware Bay.  Portions of Delaware experienced 8.94 to 12.0 inches of rain over the two-day period. 

Markell’s disaster declaration notes the substantial impact to the transportation system statewide, with road closures caused by flooded roadways and downed trees.  Emergency repairs were made by the Delaware Department of Transportation to prevent total structural failure, and protect people who live downstream from the Trussum Pond Spillway, Chipman Pond Dam, and various sites along State Route 4 in Laurel, Del. 

Officials said the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control conducted an emergency assessment of damaged dams, parks, and public waterway access points.  Personnel from DEMA's State Emergency Operations Center were activated to assist Sussex County as needed, while volunteer fire companies in Sussex County responded to multiple water rescues, and storm-related evacuations. Officials also noted that resources from state, county, and local governments were coordinated to monitor storm-affected areas and emergency releases from spillways.

Following assessment by DEMA, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, it was determined that Delaware may qualify for public assistance funding through a presidential disaster declaration.  Estimated costs for public assistance are listed in the request at $2,245,860.52, officials said. 

The request specifically asks the president for public assistance for public infrastructure in the form of a major disaster declaration for Sussex County, along with hazard mitigation funding to be made available to all three counties.  Markell’s request letter states that total expenditures are expected to be in excess of $2.24 million. 

"The major rainfall and flooding from these storms presented major challenges to Sussex County residents, as well as first responders and other state employees who performed so admirably during and after these storms," said Markell. "I am committed to ensuring we pursue all available support for repairing millions of dollars of damage, which will also assist our efforts to make Delaware's infrastructure as resilient as possible during future natural disasters."

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