Dear Governor Holcomb:
I write to you today urging you to issue an executive order or proclamation declaring a disaster emergency for the City of Hammond, given the devastating storms that occurred on May 23, 2020 in Northwest Indiana. As is your authority under Indiana's Emergency Management and Disaster Law, Ind. Code Ch. 10-14-3, an executive order or proclamation would provide vital assistance and resources to the hard working residents of our great City.
As you may know, Hammond experienced an unprecedented amount of rainfall on May 23, 2020. We had over 2.7 inches of rain within one hour, with I .8 inches of that rainfall occurring in a 15 minute period. Due to this storm, not only was our wastewater treatment plant operating at nearly 100 million gallons per day, we were also diverting over 2.1 billion gallons per day at the peak of the storm, which is our full combined sewer overflow capacity. Although all pumps at every station were operational, the intensity of the deluge made it impossible for the sanitary plant to keep pace with the storm.
Due to the already record setting precipitation in the month of May coupled with this flash flood, major damage was inflicted upon Hammond. The immense downpour caused severe damage to a number of buildings and other personal property, downed trees throughout the city, and currently over 500 basement backups to contend with.
The City of Hammond and the Hammond Sanitary District implemented a Storm Relief Program to provide some relief for damages sustained as a result of this extreme weather event, however, the costs associated with full recovery are simply not within the capability of the local government. I respectfully request that you declare a disaster emergency and expeditiously provide assistance to our community.
I sincerely appreciate your consideration of this important matter and your willingness to assist Hammond residents.
Thomas M. McDermot
Mayor, City of Hammond, Indiana