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Public Statements

Letter to President Obama

U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) today applauded President Barack Obama for issuing a Pre-Disaster Declaration for Maryland being impacted by severe weather resulting from Hurricane Sandy. Members of Maryland's Congressional Delegation praising the President's Pre-Disaster Declaration include: U.S. Representatives Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), Roscoe E. Bartlett (R-Md.), Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), John P. Sarbanes (D-Md.) and Donna F. Edwards (D-Md.).

"As members of the Maryland Congressional Delegation, we have been united throughout this process in urging the President to issue a Pre-Disaster Declaration for Maryland in the wake of such severe weather," said members of the Delegation. "We are pleased that the President recognized the full impact Hurricane Sandy is expected to have on our state and that he has taken action to help communities manage the storm."

The Pre-Disaster Declaration means that Maryland is now eligible for federal disaster funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), ensuring the already strained state budget is not stretched any thinner as a result of another natural disaster. In declaring that a federal emergency exists in the State of Maryland, President Obama ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local efforts in areas affected by this severe weather.

The text of the delegation's letter of support is as follows:

October 27, 2012

The President

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to express our strong support for Governor O'Malley's October 27, 2012 request for an emergency declaration of disaster for the State of Maryland as a result of Hurricane Sandy which is expected to affect our State beginning October 28, 2012. Given the massive impact that this storm is having on the state's already thin resources, we respectfully request that you urgently approve Federal assistance.

Maryland sits directly in the path of what is an enormously strong and growing Hurricane. It is projected to impact Maryland in the form of heavy rains, tidal and inland flooding, wind damage, power outages, and even snow. Governor O'Malley took appropriate action under Maryland law, directing the execution of the State CORE Emergency Operations Plan. The Governor further declared that a State of Emergency existed within the entire state beginning October 27, 2012 and the Maryland National Guard was called into service. Given the pre-disaster determination requested here, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and local jurisdictions continue to work with Federal Emergency Management Administration staff in order to make preliminary assessments of what assistance is necessary. However, this determination is necessary to address sheltering needs, resource transportation, debris removal, and evacuation assistance in advance of this storm. This situation has the potential to negatively impact services in other areas, given an already strained state budget environment.

Maryland and its local jurisdictions have contributed a vast amount of resources, which will continue to have economic impacts around our state. A pre-disaster declaration is necessary to help provide the resources needed by all. We appreciate your consideration of Maryland's request, and look forward to continue working with you in this recovery.

Sincerely,

Barbara A. Mikulski

United States Senator

Ben Cardin

United States Senator

Steny H. Hoyer

Member of Congress

Roscoe E. Bartlett

Member of Congress

Elijah E. Cummings

Member of Congress

Chris Van Hollen

Member of Congress

C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger

Member of Congress

John P. Sarbanes

Member of Congress

Donna F. Edwards

Member of Congress


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