Governor Hogan directs state to help Annapolis with tornado relief
Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley received a letter this morning indicating the state of Maryland would make financial resources available through the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to residents and businesses in the aftermath of the tornado that struck Annapolis on September 1, 2021. Help from the federal government for the storm's damage was previously requested, but denied. "In the absence of federal action, I am taking a number of additional actions to provide support at the state level," Hogan wrote to Buckley. A press release from the city of Annapolis on Friday indicated the mayor was pleased with the state response. “This is the good news we’ve been waiting for,” Mayor Buckley said in the release. “It means the funding is being released and we couldn’t be more pleased to be facilitating this for our residents who need it after the terror of the September 1 tornado spawned by Tropical Storm Ida.” On September 1, an EF2 tornado touched down in the Parole community, destroying homes and businesses in an area between Aris T. Allen Blvd. and West Street, and Chinquapin Round Road and Hicks Avenue. At the end of September, Governor Hogan sent a request to President Joe Biden to declare areas of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County and Cecil County a federal disaster area. That request was supported by the entire United States Congressional delegation, but was denied by President Biden in early October. The disaster declaration would have released funding and cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Hogan is directing up to $4 million go to Maryland's Department of Housing and Community Development to fund programs including the Maryland Disaster Housing Assistance Program, the Maryland Disaster Relief Housing Program, and the Maryland Business Recovery Loan Program. The money is expected to go toward home repair, short term rental assistance, and business loans for impacted residents. Hogan also requested the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) make a physical disaster declaration for Anne Arundel and Cecil Counties. An SBA declaration would free up flexible, low-interests loans for qualifying business owners and residents for home and property repair. The declaration would also encompass contiguous counties including Baltimore, Calvert, Howard, Harford, Kent, and Prince George's counties as well as Baltimore CIty The Maryland Insurance Administration is also aiding storm victims through family assistance centers and other outreach. Annapolis Mayor's Office Spokeswoman Mitchelle Stephenson said the total amount of funding to the city of Annapolis isn't known yet as the funding is being disseminated to more than one jurisdiction. But she indicated the city is anxious to move forward further with recovery. Stephenson recognized the difficulty some Annapolis residents have been going through. The storm was several weeks ago and its victims have not yet received emergency financial aid from government. "The quicker (aid goes out) the better," she said. --from press release, letter, phone interview .