Gov. John Carney on Friday sent a letter to President Biden requesting a Major Disaster Declaration following flooding caused by Tropical Depression Ida.
If authorized, the declaration would provide the state with federal financial resources for both the public and individuals to deal with clean-up and recovery.
The Delaware Emergency Management Agency, City of Wilmington and other partners have spent the past two weeks surveying damage in neighborhoods affected by the storm to support the request for federal assistance, according to a press release from the governor.
The storm caused unprecedented flooding along the Brandywine River. Severe damage was inflicted upon residential and commercial structures and vehicles in the eastern portion of Wilmington, as well as pockets along the Brandywine Creek from Talleyville through Edgemoor.
“These events were not only historic in the context of Delaware weather and climate but also came at a time when the state’s resources have been severely strained by the COVID-19 pandemic and our ongoing recovery efforts following Tropical Storm Isaias,” Carney wrote in the letter.
Carney said those factors exacerbated the storm’s impact and created a complex recovery situation that has “pushed the state’s capabilities to their limits.”
He said Wilmington’s Combined Sewer Overflow system backed up, resulting in the release of untreated sewage in areas of the Riverside neighborhood.
“It is estimated that the flooding brought on by the remnants of Hurricane Ida affected as many as 275 property owners, both commercial and residential, throughout New Castle County,” Carney wrote. “While considerable progress has been made to restore full utility service to about half of the affected properties there are still [some] experiencing plumbing as well as electric and gas issues.”
He also highlighted damage to community and cultural infrastructure, such as Brandywine Park, Howard High School, Stubbs Elementary and Hagley Museum and Library.
The City of Wilmington is currently offering plumbing and electrical help for residents and businesses whose properties were affected.
Biden on Sept. 10 authorized disaster relief funding for areas of southeastern Pennsylvania affected by the storm, including Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and York Counties.
If he does the same for Delaware, residents will be able to apply for the federal aid at disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.
In preparation, residents with homeowners, renters, or flood insurance are advised to file claims as soon as possible, because only damages or losses not covered by insurance may be eligible for federal relief.
Click here to read Gov. Carney’s full letter to President Biden.
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