Trump approves disaster declaration for Maryland, allowing aid for Ellicott City after May flooding

The Baltimore Sun

President Donald Trump has approved a disaster declaration in Maryland stemming from storms and flooding that occurred in May, and ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts.

The declaration announced late Monday covers areas affected by severe storms from May 27 to May 28, including parts of Ellicott City. Flooding in Ellicott City’s historic downtown destroyed property and led to the death of a National Guardsman, who was swept away as he tried to help a local woman.

The damage to infrastructure was estimated at $10.5 million in Howard County; $8.6 million in Baltimore County and $3 million in Baltimore.

Maryland's Congressional delegation had called on the president to make the disaster declaration, saying the storm event had been of “such severity and magnitude that effective recovery is beyond the capabilities of the State of Maryland and Howard County, Baltimore County, and Baltimore City alone.”

Gov. Larry Hogan had also sought the president’s declaration.

The action makes federal funding available to Maryland, local governments and some nonprofits for emergency work and repairs in Baltimore and Howard counties. According to a release from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state after further damage assessments.

The assistance can include payment of 75 percent of eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, and not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects, among other provisions, according to the release.

The FEMA approved a disaster declaration last week for rain, mudslides and flooding in Maryland’s Frederick and Washington counties earlier in May.

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