With a severe winter storm approaching, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline are urging the federal government to make federal assistance available to Rhode Island, if requested, to support emergency operations and recovery due to the winter storm bearing down on the state.

The full text of the letter follows:

Dear Mr. President:

We write to urge you to immediately approve any request for an emergency or major disaster declaration made by the State of Rhode Island in response to the winter storm bearing down on the state.

As you know, the National Weather Service has issued blizzard warnings for areas across New England, including the entire state of Rhode Island. Projections show that snowfall could exceed two feet in some areas and wind gusts could reach, or exceed, hurricane force. In addition, the Weather Service anticipates widespread coastal flooding, which will be severe in some areas. Due to beach erosion that occurred in Superstorm Sandy, Rhode Island's South Coast is particularly vulnerable. With significant fiscal constraints, the state will be challenged to respond to this scale of disaster without federal assistance. We have appreciated your recognition of this fact in your prompt issuance of emergency and disaster declarations for past storms and ask that you give every consideration to our state's needs in this emergency.

Thank you for your attention to this request.