November 20, 2020

Federal Delegation Members Call on Trump to Overturn Denial of Maryland Disaster Funding for Tropical Storm Isaias

The members of the Maryland congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Andy Harris, M.D., Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone, today called upon President Donald Trump to overturn the Oct. 14 decision to deny federal disaster funding to Maryland for the impacts of Tropical Storm Isaias.

“On August 3 and 4, 2020, Tropical Storm Isaias impacted Maryland with wind gusts up to 72 mph, spreading debris over roadways and across power lines, resulting in over 75,000 power outages and one fatality.  The torrential rain – over nine inches in parts of Maryland – caused flooding which washed out roadways and bridges in multiple counties.  Isaias spawned nearly a dozen tornadoes across the state, causing significant damage to public infrastructure and private property,” the members write. “Given the massive impact that this flooding had on state and local resources in Maryland, we urge you to reconsider this denial, grant the appeal, and approve the provision of supplementary federal assistance, pursuant to the Stafford Act.”

The Maryland congressional delegation members also underscored that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic seriously complicated efforts to respond to the tropical storm. “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has a significant impact on state and local governments responding to natural disasters during this ongoing pandemic,” they write. “Due to travel and safety restrictions regarding COVID-19, many virtual damage assessments have resulted in a cumbersome data collection process and lower amounts of damages that could be verified by FEMA, as opposed to using the traditional physical inspection process.”  

The full text of the letter is available here.