Dayton-area tornadoes: Portman, Brown urge president to issue major disaster declaration

Sen. Rob Portman said Tuesday that he and Sen. Sherrod Brown are preparing a letter to send to President Donald Trump urging him to make a major disaster declaration in the parts of Ohio struck by devastating tornadoes over Memorial Day weekend.

Portman, an Ohio Republican, said he has spoken to Trump about the tornadoes and urged him to move quickly on a disaster declaration.

RELATED: State asks FEMA for help with tornado damage

“He said he would help,” Portman said.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine officially requested a major disaster declaration Monday. Brown and Portman were preparing a letter Tuesday to send to Trump supporting the request and asking for a quick response.

“We need it,” he said. “The damage was extensive and hopefully the administration will respond quickly.”

The storms, which killed one, damaged 1,800 buildings in the the state, including in the Dayton area and Celina and damaged about 940 either completely or significantly, Portman said. Ten Ohio counties saw “significant” impact from the storms.

The disaster declaration request asks for federal help for residents in 10 counties: Montgomery, Greene, Miami, Darke, Mercer, Hocking, Perry, Auglaize, Pickaway and Muskingum.

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