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Governor DeWine Requests Presidential Disaster Declaration for Eight Ohio Counties Affected by April Storms


Columbus, OH – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has formally requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration from President Joe Biden to aid eight counties severely impacted by storms, flooding, and tornadoes that struck in early April. Despite FEMA’s assessment that the damage does not meet the threshold for federal assistance, Governor DeWine insists that the actual damages significantly exceed the necessary criteria.

The severe weather events occurred from April 1-4, 2024, causing extensive damage to critical public infrastructure in Belmont, Monroe, Jefferson, Guernsey, Noble, Washington, Morgan, and Meigs counties.

In a letter to the White House, Governor DeWine emphasized that local officials and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (EMA) calculated total damages at $33.8 million, well above the $21.7 million threshold required for federal disaster assistance in Ohio. FEMA’s estimate was substantially lower at $17.4 million, which is $4.3 million below the federal threshold.

“Frankly, we think FEMA’s estimate is incorrect,” Governor DeWine stated. “The federal government’s reliance on Google Earth and its failure to give local officials the opportunity to provide additional information to support its estimate is concerning. These eight Appalachian counties cannot afford to fix the tremendous amount of infrastructure damage on their own, and I believe it’s the President’s duty to step in and help.”

If granted, the Presidential Disaster Declaration would provide grants to state and local governments, as well as certain non-profit organizations, to facilitate infrastructure repairs and address costs associated with debris operations and emergency protective measures. This declaration would also include the statewide designation of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

For more details, Governor DeWine’s letter to President Biden can be accessed here.