By DeJanay Booth

(CBS DETROIT) — More than $500,000 in state funding is being allocated to Otsego County and surrounding communities that were impacted by the May 20 tornado, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Wednesday.

Officials say the funds approved by Whitmer come from the Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund, which supports communities that have exhausted local resources after a disaster.

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The funding was approved for Otsego County, Gaylord, Hayes Township, Livingston Township and Bagley Township, totaling $509,607.

  • Gaylord: $250,000
  • Hayes Township: $45,059.16
  • Livingston Township: $50,509.08
  • Bagley Township: $73,085.50
  • Otsego County: $90,954.13

Officials say the funds can be used for immediate prevention, response and recovery of a disaster, as well as cover overtime for public employees, contracts used during the response, shelter supplies, gasoline during the response, and repair of public buildings and infrastructure.

“May’s devastating thunderstorms and tornado strained local resources in Otsego County, and this $500,000 in assistance will help cover some local response and recovery costs,” Whitmer said in a press release.

The funding comes after the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied the state’s request for a major disaster declaration.

The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) granted an administrative declaration of disaster for the county.

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Two people were killed and more than 40 others were injured in the disaster, destroying homes and businesses and causing millions of dollars in property damage.

Shortly after, Whitmer declared a state of emergency following the EF-3 tornado.

On June 8, Whitmer asked President Joe Biden to declare a major disaster in the county. However, that request was denied on July 2 by FEMA.

Whitmer says she sent a letter to SBA on July 8.

The Gaylord community has made great progress in the months since the tornado, but we know there is more work to be done,” Whitmer said. “No matter what the federal government does or does not do, we will get the Gaylord community what they need to recover and rebuild. Michiganders are tough and we look out for one another. We will be there every step of the way.”

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