Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown, together with Congressmen Ed Markey, Barney Frank, William Delahunt, Jim McGovern, Niki Tsongas, John Olver, Richard Neal, John Tierney, Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch today sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to support Governor Deval Patrick's latest request for a Presidential Disaster declaration in response to the ongoing damage caused by last month's disastrous flooding.
Two back-to-back storms pummeled the state in late March. The floodwaters caused severe damage to homes, businesses and public facilities throughout the state
"The rains and floodwaters kicked us hard and tons of families and businesses are still trying to dry out, clean up the mess, and get back up. This is an urgent economic issue. I've been on the phone with Mayors who are screaming for a lifeline, and I've talked with the White House. This has to get done. We need additional help and resources for people displaced from their homes and businesses that are still shut down. President Obama's support of the Governor's latest application for a disaster declaration will keep the pipeline open to deliver help to those who need it most as quickly as possible," said Senator John Kerry.
"This disaster declaration would provide much-needed relief for communities and families as they recover from the latest round of flooding, and I urge the administration to act quickly so Massachusetts families and businesses continue to receive the federal resources they need," said Senator Scott Brown.
"Following back-to-back devastating storms, this critical declaration is needed now more than ever" said Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass). "This most recent disaster declaration will help communities already reeling from the first storm continue to rebuild and recover. I urge the Obama Administration to do all it can to help local residents rebuild their homes and businesses."
"I've seen firsthand the devastation this flooding caused in Central and Southeastern Massachusetts," Rep. McGovern said. "Our communities need this federal assistance, and I urge the Obama Administration to approve this request as quickly as possible."
"Today, I visited communities in the Fifth District that were hit hard by the record rainfall our state has received over the past month," said Congresswoman Tsongas. "The need for assistance for affected homeowners and businesses is still great and I urge President Obama to support this highly appropriate request."
"Federal financial assistance is essential in our effort to cope with the effects of the disastrous flooding which has caused so much suffering in Massachusetts," said Congressman Frank.
"The impact of the back-to-back March storms has been devastating for certain Massachusetts residents and businesses. In an effort to provide the necessary assistance to help clean up and rebuild affected areas, I urge President Obama to grant the Governors' request for further disaster assistance," said Congressman John Tierney (MA-06).
The text of the letter is as follows:
April 16, 2010
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing in strong support of Governor Deval Patrick's second application for a Presidential Disaster declaration to assist homes and businesses that have been damaged by the devastating flooding that occurred across Massachusetts from March 28th through March 30th.
Due to the record rainfall that hit Massachusetts, extreme flooding continues to seriously impact homes, businesses, roads, and public infrastructure, especially in Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester counties.
These seven counties were hit with devastating rainfall twice in a span of fourteen days. In the weeks following the flooding, homeowners as well as business owners have been faced with the daunting task of clean up and rebuilding. Without federal assistance, this task would be impossible.
As a result of the flooding, many small business owners continue to face the cost of mitigating water damage to their properties as well as the additional loss of revenue because their stores were forced to close during the storm and still remain closed, one month later. The current economy that has already tested the resilience of these businesses and today they are in even more desperate need of additional disaster assistance and loans from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Governor Patrick is providing your Administration with all the required documentation and evidence required for a second disaster declaration. Therefore, we urge you to act swiftly and issue an additional disaster declaration for Massachusetts to help address the urgent situation in our state in order to continue mitigating the losses related to the flooding of homes and businesses in our state.
We thank you for your prompt delivery of our first request for a disaster declaration for the storm occurring March 12th-March 14th and thank you in advance for your prompt consideration of this request.
Senator John Kerry
Senator Scott Brown
Congressman Ed Markey
Congressman James McGovern
Congressman John Tierney
Congressman Michael Capuano
Congresswoman Niki Tsongas
Congressman Barney Frank
Congressman Stephen Lynch
Congressman William Delahunt
Congressman Richard Neal
Congressman John Olver