Maryland’s congressional delegation is urging President Barack Obama to declare a major disaster for the state in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Such a declaration would make Dorchester, Somerset and Worcester counties as well as Baltimore city eligible for federal disaster recovery dollars.
“Maryland and its local jurisdictions have contributed a vast amount of resources in a very short period,” wrote the delegation in a letter signed by Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D) of Baltimore and Benjamin L. Cardin (D) of Pikesville, as well as all eight congressional representatives. “The assistance requested will provide vital resources to save lives and protect property.”
The letter to Obama was written in support of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s Nov. 8 request for federal aid.
The amount of reimbursement that Maryland eventually would get after such a declaration wouldn’t be known for months and would depend on how much of the damage was to public and private property, said Ed McDonough, spokesman for the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.
U.S. Rep. Andrew P. Harris (R-Dist. 1) of Cockeysville said federal assistance could be crucial to getting the economy going again in hard-hit areas like Crisfield, Somerset County.
“Hundreds of people were displaced from their homes, and businesses were disrupted when waterfront was destroyed,” Harris said.
The storm, with winds of up to 90 mph, pounded Maryland Oct. 29 and 30, dropping as much as two inches of rain per hour in the area.