WASHINGTON — Maryland’s political leaders are requesting federal aid to recover from last month’s blizzard.
The Maryland congressional delegation sent a letter to President Barack Obama Feb. 23 in a bipartisan request for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for costs related to the storm.
The letter followed Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s request Feb. 19 to Obama for federal assistance. Hogan estimated that the extent of the storm damage exceeded $34 million.
“Throughout the storm, our administration and state agencies effectively and efficiently responded and Marylanders used common sense and stayed off the roads,” Hogan said in a statement. “Now we are taking steps to recover and ensure we are ready for any future storms.”
During the storm, Hogan issued a state of emergency and requested assistance from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. Russell Strickland, executive director for MEMA, requested help from FEMA to assess storm-related damage.
“MEMA worked closely with local governments and FEMA to jointly assess damages and costs incurred, and initial estimates have validated the significant impact of this storm,” Strickland said in a statement.
The damage was the result of record snowfall numbers of up to 38 inches, wind gusts of more than 55 mph, and flooding along the coast.
In the congressional letter, the lawmakers said that state and federal emergency management officials “collectively found that the event was of such severity and magnitude that effective response and recovery is beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments, and requires supplementary federal assistance.”
Maryland requested federal funding through the Public Assistance Grant Program, which would fund activities such as debris removal and the repair of damaged public facilities and infrastructure.
The state also asked for funding through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which would assist in creating measures to eliminate long-term risks to people and structures in the state.
The request to Obama is currently under review, according to FEMA.