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Gov. Whitmer Announces Michigan Receives Disaster Declaration from President Biden After August Tornadoes and Storms


February 8, 2024



Gov. Whitmer Announces Michigan Receives Disaster Declaration from President Biden After August Tornadoes and Storms


LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that President Joe Biden has approved Michigan’s request for a disaster declaration in nine counties across the state as a result of heavy storms in August 2023, unlocking assistance for affected Michiganders.


“Michiganders have been working hard to recover from the tornadoes and storms that caused so much damage across the state this summer,” said Governor Whitmer. "With today’s federal disaster declaration by President Biden, we will get the resources we need to support impacted families, businesses, and communities. Michiganders are tough. We will get through this the way we always have—together."


“After the severe storms and flooding we experienced in August, Michigan communities have worked tirelessly to repair and recover from the damages. However, it's clear we need to do more to help folks get back on their feet,” said U.S. Senator Peters. “I applaud the President for approving Michigan’s request for a Major Disaster declaration, which will send critical federal resources to residents in need of support. As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee overseeing our nation’s federal disaster response, I’ll continue working to ensure Michiganders and our communities can better withstand and recover from future natural disasters.” 


“Many of the communities I represent were devastated by these storms last summer, and I’m grateful for this FEMA assistance that will support their recovery," said Representative Debbie Dingell (MI-6). "I will continue to work with Governor Whitmer and federal agencies to get this funding to the areas most in need, and will continue to work to be prepared for the increasingly severe weather events impacting our communities.” 


"Our families across the 12th District continue to be impacted by heavy rainstorms and the recovery process often takes years for our neighbors," said Representative Rashida Tlaib (MI-12). "I know this declaration and the recovery assistance available through FEMA will help our families better navigate their recovery and receive the support they need. I will continue to fight for our community’s climate resilience and work with our State leaders to get the resources our families need.”


"In the wake of the August storms, President Biden's disaster declaration is a crucial step toward recovery for Michigan," said Representative Shri Thanedar (MI-13). "Together, we'll rebuild stronger, embodying the resilience of our great state."


The declaration opens the path to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Individual Assistance (IA) for residents of Eaton, Ingham, Ionia, Kent, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland and Wayne counties. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. 


This FEMA assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.


 “This federal assistance will supplement the ongoing state and local recovery efforts and will directly help home and business owners affected by these storms,” said Col. James F. Grady II, state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and director of the MSP. “We encourage all affected residents to apply.”


On August 24, areas in lower Michigan experienced several storm fronts that brought heavy rain, strong winds, and seven tornadoes. Governor Gretchen Whitmer made the request for a Major Disaster Declaration as communities across the state experienced road and bridge closures, downed trees and power lines, damage to building structures, embankments, and road surfaces, overwhelmed stormwater and sewer systems, and deposits of silt and debris. Hundreds of homeowners also reported residential flooding. 


Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance at, by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), or by using the FEMA App. Anyone using a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, can give FEMA the number for that service. 


For more information on how to prepare before, during, and after an emergency or disaster, visit or follow MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS.