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Published: Friday, 6/11/2010

Bipartisan group sends plea for aid to President

BLADE STAFF

A bipartisan group of northwest Ohio officials had no word Thursday on its request to President Obama for a federal major disaster declaration after Saturday's deadly and destructive tornadoes.

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland on Wednesday sent a letter to President Obama seeking a disaster declaration for Wood, Ottawa, and Fulton counties.

The following day, U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green), U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), and U.S. Sens. George Voinovich and Sherrod Brown signed a letter addressed to the President in support of Mr. Strickland's request for a federal major disaster declaration.

"We are writing in support of Governor Ted Strickland's request for a federal major disaster declaration for Fulton, Ottawa, and Wood counties as a result of severe storms and tornadoes that impacted Ohio the evening of June 5 and the early morning of June 6, 2010," the group wrote. "We fully support Governor Strickland's request for a federal major disaster declaration and urge your prompt consideration of his request."

Mr. Latta's spokesman, David Popp, said they had not received a response and that it is in the hands of the Obama Administration.

Mr. Latta also sent a letter Tuesday to President Obama asking him to declare Wood and Fulton Counties as federal disaster areas in wake of the deadly storms.

"Because of the deaths and massive destruction left in the wake of these storms, it is imperative that we provide whatever assistance may be necessary as these communities begin down the long road to recovery," Mr. Latta said.

Mr. Latta and Mr. Brown are expected to be in Fulton and Wood counties today to survey the cleanup effort. Mr. Latta is scheduled to tour portions of Fulton County from 10 a.m. until noon. He will meet with county officials at the Swancreek Township garage which is at 5565 County Road D in Delta.

Mr. Brown is to survey the storm damage in Wood County starting at 2 p.m. at the Lake Township fire station on Ayers Road.

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm declared a state of emergency for Monroe County Wednesday.

The declaration allows county authorities to seek financial and other aid from the state and federal government.



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