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Whitmer planning to ask FEMA for financial help cleaning up flood damage

 Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plans to ask the federal government for more disaster assistance for residents and businesses who received flood damage after the Edenville and Sanford dams collapsed on May 19.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plans to ask the federal government for more disaster assistance for residents and businesses who received flood damage after the Edenville and Sanford dams collapsed on May 19. (WJRT)
Published: Jun. 8, 2020 at 7:26 PM EDT
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(6/8/2020) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is planning to increase the request for federal disaster assistance in flooded parts of Midland County to include help for homeowners.

The record breaking floods along the Tittabawassee River caused when the Edenville and Sanford dams failed on May 19 caused at least $175 million worth of damage to homes, businesses and nonprofit agencies.

As the cleanup process continues, Whitmer plans to ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency for direct financial assistance to benefit homeowners and businesses affected by flooding.

She plans to make the formal request next week and hopes for swift approval from the federal government.

"I know that Congressman Moolenaar and our bipartisan delegation will be very likely pushing to get quick action on this. And FEMA and the assistance that follows could happen in very short order," Whitmer said.

That's welcome news to Kim Methner, who broke out his tools bright and early Monday morning to tear up the flooring in the salon he and wife Connie have owned for more than three decades.

"I have a deadline, my wife needs to get back to work," he said.

Whitmer is relaxing coronavirus restrictions and allowing hair salons to reopen in Michigan on June 15. To the meet Connie's deadline, Kim Methner said he will need help physically and financially.

"My wife and I we're both retired, fixed income. And for us to go out and hire people to do this is not feasible," he said.

Kim put down his tools for a little while Monday afternoon to hear what Whitmer had to say about how soon that help may arrive. He hopes it happens soon.

"Anything will help," he said.

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