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Letter to President Obama

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) and members of Maryland's Congressional Delegation today in a letter to President Barack Obama requested that Maryland be granted a major disaster declaration following Hurricane Irene. If awarded, Maryland will become eligible for federal disaster recovery dollars through the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), ensuring the already strained state budget is not stretched any thinner as a result of this natural disaster.

"Irene is poised to be a big and dangerous storm. Its impact on Maryland and other coastal states will be tremendous," Senator Mikulski said. "A hurricane of this size has already strained state budgets. Resources have to be further stretched in order to assist residents with evacuations and respond to emergencies. That's why we are asking the President for his support of Governor O'Malley's request."

As authorities work to restore electricity and assist residents, please remember to follow the instructions of local officials. If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911.

For more information on hurricane preparedness and links to other resources, please go to and click on "Information on Hurricane Irene" on the home page.

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

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to express our strong support for Governor O'Malley's August 26, 2011 request for a declaration of a major disaster for the State of Maryland as a result of Hurricane Irene which is expected to affect the State between August 27 and August 28, 2011. 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 Hurricane. It is projected to impact Maryland as a Category 2 Hurricane and nearly the entire state will be affected, with the greatest impact on the Eastern Shore. 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 August 25, 2011, 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, resources 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.

Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator

Benjamin L. Cardin
United States Senator

Steny H. Hoyer
Member of Congress

Chris Van Hollen
Member of Congress

Roscoe G. Bartlett
Member of Congress

Elijah E. Cummings
Member of Congress

C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger
Member of Congress

John P. Sarbanes
Member of Congress

Donna F. Edwards
Member of Congress

Andy Harris
Member of Congress

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