Maryland Emergency Management Agency
Governor Larry Hogan Requests Federal Disaster Declaration in Response to Historic Ellicott City Flooding
Governor Larry Hogan Requests Federal Disaster Declaration in Response to Historic Ellicott City Flooding
MEMA to Coordinate Request
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today requested that President Barack Obama issue a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Howard County as a result of the floods that ripped through Main Street in Ellicott City on July 30, 2016. An approved disaster declaration would bring federal assistance to Howard County and Ellicott City through state and local agencies and public safety partners that served them during the storm.
“Our administration has made it clear that we will do everything we can, and coordinate with all levels of government to help the residents of Ellicott City and Howard County rebuild their community after the disastrous flooding that occurred,” said Governor Hogan. “These federal funds will go a long way in helping residents and local businesses rebuild infrastructure and will also help with some of the costs associated with the initial clean-up efforts.”
A storm cell dumped nearly six inches of rain in the area during a few hours on the evening of July 30, causing a wall of water to cascade down Main Street. Two people were killed in the storm, dozens of buildings – many a mix of business and residential – were damaged and about 200 vehicles were swept downstream or flooded. Ellicott City sits at the intersection of the West Branch of the Patapsco River and two smaller streams.
Eastern Howard County was severely impacted by this storm. Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman quickly declared a local State of Emergency for the county, and Governor Hogan followed with a Maryland State of Emergency for the county. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) coordinated the state response and recovery through the State Emergency Operations Center, and also coordinated the movement of resources from other jurisdiction in Maryland and from other states.
Governor Hogan designated MEMA as the state coordinating agency for the request. MEMA Executive Director Russell Strickland directed MEMA staff to work with Howard County staff and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to perform a damage assessment as the first step in seeking federal assistance. This process started several days after the storm, when building inspectors and public works officials declared the area safe.
“MEMA worked closely with Howard County and FEMA to jointly assess damages and costs incurred and initial estimates have validated the significant impact of this storm,” said Director Strickland. “Many long-time residents said this flooding is the worst they have ever seen in that area. The amount of damage that the storm caused in just a couple of hours was devastating.”
SBA Approves Governor Hogan’s Request for Disaster Declaration for Howard County
MEMA Encourages Residents with Damages from July 30 Storm to Apply for Low-interest Loans to Assist with Recovery
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved a request for a physical disaster declaration for Howard County following flash flooding that affected Ellicott City and surrounding areas on July 30. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is encouraging businesses and residents in Howard County and adjacent counties affected by heavy rains and flooding to now apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“These loans are essential for Ellicott City residents and businesses to rebuild, and I would like to thank the Small Business Administration for approving our request so quickly,” said Governor Hogan. “Our administration will continue to work tirelessly with Howard County and the federal government to allow local residents and businesses access to as many of these programs as possible.”
The SBA made the loans available in response to a letter from Governor Hogan on August 9, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Howard County and the adjacent counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Prince George’s, and Montgomery.
“As many of us have seen, Main Street in Ellicott City was devastated by the flash flooding on July 30,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “These loans, with attractive interest rates, can help the business owners and residents get back on their feet.”
Businesses and nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow money to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.
The SBA also offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
SBA’s customer service representatives are available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications. The Center is located in the following community and is open as indicated:
Address: Ellicott City 50+ Center: 9401 Frederick Road, Ellicott City, MD 21042
Opening: Friday, Aug. 12 at 8:30 AM
Hours: Weekdays from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Saturday, Aug. 13 and Sunday, Aug. 14 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Saturday, Aug. 20 and Sunday, Aug. 21 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
For more information about the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, please visit www.mema.maryland.gov.
For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program, please visit www.sba.gov/disaster
Governor Hogan Requests Small Business Administration Disaster Declaration for Howard County
Approved Declaration Would Make Low-interest Loans Available to Businesses and Residents
REISTERSTOWN, Md. (August 9, 2016) — Governor Larry Hogan has issued a letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) requesting a physical disaster declaration for Howard County following flash flooding that affected Ellicott City and surrounding areas on July 30. An approved declaration would allow affected businesses, homeowners, and renters to apply for low-interest loans to repair damages that occurred due to the devastating storm.
“Ellicott City’s residents and businesses need as much help as they can get – from private citizens and all levels of government – as they begin to recover from this disastrous flood,” said Governor Hogan. “If approved, this disaster declaration will go a long way in providing access to the loans our citizens need to repair damages and continue the rebuilding process.”
State officials from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) joined Howard County officials and SBA staff last week to assess damages in order to apply for this program.
“MEMA is coordinating with our federal partners and Howard County to ensure that all applicable forms of federal assistance are made available to impacted residents,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland.
SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. If approved for assistance, SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster: real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets. For more information, please visit www.sba.gov.
Governor Larry Hogan Directs State Agencies to Assist in Storm Recovery Efforts
Operations Transitioning from Rapid Response to Long-Term Recovery
ANNAPOLIS, MD – On Sunday, Governor Larry Hogan issued an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency in Howard County in response to the severe thunderstorms and flooding that occurred Saturday night and early Sunday morning. The governor also spent Sunday in Ellicott City and Howard County, where he surveyed the damage and met with local officials and citizens.
“As Howard County and the historic town of Ellicott City begin to rebuild from this storm, I want to recognize the local residents, and county and state personnel who have worked tirelessly to support these communities over the past few days,” said Governor Hogan. “Our administration will continue to work with local and federal officials to provide the support and resources necessary to recover from this emergency.”
The Hogan administration has directed state agencies to assist residents and local businesses affected by this storm, including the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, which has increased its activation level and is coordinating resource requests received from Howard County.
Yesterday in Ellicott City, there was a recovery and information session at which representatives from the following Maryland state agencies were available to answer questions about state assistance to Howard County residents and local businesses: the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation; the Maryland Insurance Administration; the Maryland Emergency Management Agency; the Maryland State Police; the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives; the Department of Housing and Community Development; the Department of Transportation, the Department of Human Resources; the Department of Commerce; and the Department of the Environment.
Descriptions of some of the actions taken by state agencies are listed below:
Maryland Emergency Management Agency
- Increased the state response activation level in order to facilitate resource coordination and support for Howard County following the flooding in Ellicott City.
- Sending planning support and liaisons to assist Howard County emergency management officials.
- Working with the National Weather Service and local emergency management offices around the state to monitor the forecast and ensure readiness for potential storm systems and rain this week.
State Highway Administration
- Reopened more than 40 roads that were closed due to the thunderstorms and flooding.
- Working to re-open both ends of MD 144 on the approaches to Main Street in Ellicott City.
- Continuing to monitor road conditions across the state.
Department of Housing and Community Development
- Providing financing for homeowners to repair damaged homes through the Disaster Relief Housing Program, the Disaster Housing Assistance Program, and the Maryland Housing Rehabilitation Program (WholeHome).
- Providing storefront improvement funds through the Community Legacy Program to improve damaged facades.
- Extending the application deadline for the Strategic Demolition Fund, which can be used for a range of development activitiesincluding the removal of unsafe structures, the demolition of obsolete structures, infrastructure improvements, site development, and architectural and engineering services.
- Providing small business grants and emergency loans through the Maryland Business Recovery Loan Program to assist with building repairs and lost inventory.
- Providing grants for local revitalization projects in Ellicott City through the Main Street Maryland program, that are available to Maryland’s 28 designated historic Main Streets.
- Working with residents and local business owners to reevaluate previously submitted applications for state assistance.
- Working with the Department of Human Resources to provide vouchers through the Housing Assistance Program.
- Working with the Department of Human Resources and the federal government to determine how additional emergency funds can be dispersed.
Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
- Sent out a Rapid Response team to assist in emergency workforce initiatives and file unemployment claims.
Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives
- Working with the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism to coordinate with nonprofit and corporate contacts to mobilize volunteers and commodities.
Department of the Environment
- Working with residents and businesses to help with permitting during the cleanup and rebuilding phase.
- Monitoring dam conditions.
Department of Planning
- Working to identify priority historic properties that may require special attention or protective actions.
Maryland Insurance Administration
- Assisting Marylanders filing property and casualty insurance claims.
Maryland State Police
- Activated 30 troopers from the Maryland State Police Mobile Field Force to work security and traffic control in Ellicott City.
- Monitoring issues at the Howard County Emergency Operations Center and maintaining contact with the Howard County Police Department.
Governor Larry Hogan Signs Executive Order Declaring State of Emergency in Howard County
Order Issued in Response to Severe Thunderstorms and Flooding
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today signed an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency in Howard County beginning Sunday, July 31 at 10 a.m. in response to severe thunderstorms that occurred overnight and early this morning. The thunderstorms caused extensive damage to property and infrastructure in the central part of the state, including intense flooding in the historic town of Ellicott City. The Executive Order will allow the state to efficiently coordinate support and provide additional assistance to Howard County.
The governor declared the State of Emergency from Howard County, where he is meeting with local officials and citizens in Ellicott City, and surveying the damage caused by recent flooding.
“We are coordinating all available resources to address this emergency as quickly as possible,” said Governor Hogan. “Our administration is working closely with local officials, including Howard County Executive Allen Kittleman, to respond to this major storm event. ”
The Hogan administration has asked state agencies to respond to the effects of this storm, including the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, which has increased its activation level and is coordinating resource requests received from Howard County.
Those affected by the storm who are in need of non-emergency assistance can call Howard County’s Police Department at 410-313-2200.
May 15-21 is Maryland Hurricane Preparedness Week
Residents Should Take Action Now to Prepare for Severe Weather
REISTERSTOWN, Md. (May 16, 2016) — Maryland Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 15-21. This week, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is teaming up with the National Weather Service (NWS) and local emergency managers to promote citizen awareness and preparedness. Hurricanes can cause strong winds, heavy rain, and flooding. These storms occur most often in the summer and fall during the Atlantic hurricane season and have wide-ranging and severe effects.
“As we approach hurricane season, we are committed to ensuring the safety of our citizens,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Hurricane Preparedness Week is a reminder that there are steps that Maryland citizens can take now to ensure they are prepared before, during, and after a severe storm.”
“Residents should determine the risk of flooding and other hazards caused by hurricanes for their area and take action to prepare,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “Know your evacuation route, assemble a disaster kit, and review your homeowners or renters insurance ahead of time. If there is a hurricane in the forecast, listen to emergency officials and keep lines of communication open with your friends, family, and neighbors.”
The NWS notes that it is not only the eastern shore of Maryland that can be affected by hurricanes. “Every part of Maryland can see devastating impacts from hurricanes. While less frequent than our southern neighbors, when hurricanes or remnants of hurricanes come through, torrential flooding rains, devastating high tides, damaging winds, and even tornadoes can be serious threats to our state,” said NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Chris Strong.
Residents can take the following actions now in order to prepare for hurricane season:
- Clear out rain gutters so water doesn’t back up and end up in your house.
- Around the dinner table, talk to your family about where you would meet in the event of an emergency.
- If you have pets, identify some pet-friendly hotels in case you have to evacuate.
- Program “In Case of Emergency” contacts into your phone.
- Teach friends and family members to text on their cell-phones, text messages can often get through when phone calls can’t.
- Make copies of important documents for your emergency kit. (medications, medical info, proof of address, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, etc.) Consider putting them on a secure flash drive, as well.
- Get an extra set of house and car keys made for your emergency kit.
- Download the free MARYLAND Prepares mobile app, which includes weather and emergency alerts, at maryland.gov/Pages/mdprepares.aspx.
- Teach everyone how to turn off the utilities in your house (electricity, gas, water, etc.) so they can do it in case of an evacuation.
- Pick up canned goods when your store has a sale, they will last a long time and ensure you will have something to eat if you can’t go out to the store.
Maryland Hosts the South Korean Ministry of Public Safety and Security
First Lady Yumi Hogan, MEMA and State Officials Discuss Disaster Management and Public Safety Programs in Maryland with Korean Delegation
REISTERSTOWN, Md. (March 22, 2015) — Maryland hosted Minister In-yong Park and top officials from the South Korean Ministry of Public Safety and Security at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency today. The foreign delegation visited in order to discuss best practices in emergency management and learn about Maryland’s programs and processes for incident response, disaster recovery and other public safety topics. The delegation was welcomed by Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan, Maryland Secretary of State John C. Wobensmith, MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland, Maryland Governor’s Office of Homeland Security Director Pete Landon, Maryland Governor’s Senior Advisor Clay Stamp and other state officials.
“Maryland and South Korea share a long history of friendship and cooperation based on common values and interests,” said First Lady Hogan. “Through today’s meaningful discussion of our state’s achievements in disaster management and public safety, it is my hope that our regions can continue to strengthen that relationship to ensure our citizens’ safety and well-being.”
Maryland hosts international delegations as a way to continue to improve international relations, learn from other countries and promote successful Maryland programs. MEMA regularly hosts foreign visitors to provide emergency management subject matter expertise.
“We are honored that the government of South Korea has called on the State of Maryland and members of its emergency management team to share ideas on such critical issues,” said Maryland Secretary of State John Wobensmith. “Maryland has a unique experience in this area and is well positioned to assist foreign delegations in protecting their citizens.”
“It is important to share successful emergency management practices with both our domestic and international counterparts,” added MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “Collaboration and new ideas help build better disaster preparedness programs, which improves the safety of Marylanders.”
Spring Season Brings Chances for Hazardous Weather in Maryland
March 21-25 is Severe Storms Awareness Week
REISTERSTOWN, Md. (March 21, 2015) — Maryland Severe Storms Awareness Week begins today and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is teaming up with the National Weather Service and local emergency managers to promote citizen awareness and preparedness. During spring, Maryland is at risk for heavy rainstorms, flooding, damaging winds, tornadoes, hail and lightning. All of these hazards typically occur throughout the state every year; however, residents can “be weather prepared” by ensuring that they know how to receive warnings and practice safety tips.
“The spring brings warm weather and more time spent outdoors but this season is also the time of year when we can experience dangerous thunderstorms, flooding, and even tornadoes,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Marylanders should follow the advice of local and state officials and also use common sense when severe weather is in the forecast.”
The National Weather Service emphasizes that the mid-Atlantic region is at risk for flooding, damaging winds, tornadoes, hail, and lightning storms every year. “Maryland experiences severe storms regularly during the spring,” said NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Christopher Strong. “Our area is particularly at risk for damaging winds and flooding. We also see hailstorms and even tornadoes. In fact, Maryland has had nearly 100 tornadoes in the past ten years.”
The National Weather Service and MEMA work closely together and with local government agencies to identify and monitor severe weather systems, develop preparedness plans and safety information and coordinate the response to these storms.
“Severe Storms Awareness Week is a reminder that hazardous weather regularly occurs in Maryland,” said Russ Strickland, Executive Director of MEMA. “If a strong storm is in the forecast or you receive an alert or warning, first, get indoors, then, communicate with your neighbors, friends and family to make sure they’re aware of the situation and are safe.”
Residents can also take the following actions to be prepared and remain safe:
- During flooding, never enter an area where water is flowing over a road and you cannot see the pavement. Turn around, don’t drown!
- If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued or you are experiencing strong winds, get to a sturdy shelter and stay indoors away from windows.
- Tornadoes can form rapidly in the right conditions. If there is a tornado warning or you see a tornado, quickly get inside and go to the lowest floor possible.
- If you hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck from a fringe lightning strike. Over 98% of lightning casualties are from people outdoors—get indoors or inside your vehicle if possible.
Additional information can be found on the “Weather Ready” website at weather.gov/lwx/weatherready and the MEMA website at mema.maryland.gov. MEMA has recently posted a flooding preparedness video whiteboard video with additional tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUgsiUVQi1E and will be hosting a chat on Twitter on March 22 at 2pm EDT using the hashtag #SevereWxChat.
REISTERSTOWN, Md. (March 4, 2016) — Maryland has been informed that the state’s recent request for a major disaster declaration has been approved following the January 2016 blizzard. On February 19, Governor Larry Hogan sent a formal letter to President Barack Obama requesting a federal declaration for the State of Maryland as a result of that winter storm. By granting the declaration, federal assistance will be made available to communities in Maryland through state and local agencies and public safety partners that served them during the storm.
“I am pleased that the federal government granted my request for a disaster declaration after a historic blizzard that affected so many of us in January,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Federal aid made available to Maryland and our local communities will supplement state and local recovery efforts that have been ongoing since the storm.”
The decision for a disaster declaration comes after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), and local jurisdictions throughout the state jointly conducted damage assessments last month. In addition to the state, the following local jurisdictions are included in the declaration and are eligible for aid: Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, Washington, and Worcester Counties and the City of Baltimore.
Governor Hogan has designated MEMA as the state coordinating agency for the declaration.
“MEMA worked closely with FEMA and local jurisdictions to assess damages and costs caused by the January winter storm,” said Executive Director Russell Strickland. “We will continue to work together to apply this federal assistance to repair damaged infrastructure and provide relief to public safety services. MEMA is committed to ensuring that state and local governments and communities are able to effectively recover from this event and that they are ready to respond to the next disaster.”
Maryland Residents Should Prepare for High Winds, Heavy Rain and Possible Tornadoes
REISTERSTOWN, Md. (February 24, 2016) — A line of severe storms are forecast to quickly travel into Maryland today. Strong thunderstorms and tornadoes are possible for parts of Maryland this afternoon. Additional threats could include damaging winds, flooding and power outages as part of this storm system.
The most severe weather is expected to occur this afternoon and evening. If a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning is issued by the National Weather Service, residents should take appropriate actions, including sheltering in a safe place indoors on the lowest level of a building away from exterior walls and windows.
“This line of potentially dangerous storms is quickly approaching Maryland,” said Maryland Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Russell Strickland. “Residents are encouraged to follow their local weather sources in order to be aware of the hazards in the area. Make sure that your neighbors, friends, and family are also aware of the situation.”
In addition, residents should consider taking the following actions prior to and during severe storms:
- Keep communications devices charged so that you will have a way to follow weather forecasts and local emergency information.
- Stay indoors and stay away from windows and glass doors.
- During a tornado warning, if you are in a structure, go to the lowest level of the building. If there is no basement go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level away from the corners, windows, doors and outside walls.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.
- Know who to contact in the case of a power outage.
Residents can find additional preparedness information on MEMA’s website at mema.maryland.gov. The agency will also be posting updated information on social media. You can follow MEMA on Twitter @MDMEMAor on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MDMEMA.