What Baltimore’s states of emergency mean after bridge collapse

Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed early Tuesday morning after being struck by a cargo ship that had lost power, the governor said, sending construction workers and several vehicles plunging into the frigid water below. 

Later that morning, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore declared a State of Emergency for the state, as did Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott for the city. 

A state of emergency declaration won’t affect the everyday lives of those who live in the area; schools, business and roads will still be open.

The declaration will affect how federal funds and other resources, such as manpower from the National Guard, can be deployed and distributed to the area. 

Baltimore state of emergency

In Maryland's economy, the Port of Baltimore generates nearly $3.3 billion in total personal income and supports 15,330 direct jobs and 139,180 jobs connected to Port work, so getting the port back in working order is a top priority - as is rebuilding the bridge.

But first, local authorities said Tuesday their priority was the lives of the people involved.

Mayor Scott said Baltimore’s state of emergency declaration allowed them to utilize first responders from other fire departments and agencies to help prioritize the search. As of Tuesday afternoon, authorities knew of six members from a construction crew that were still unaccounted for.

"We’re focused right now on saving lives and working through this unspeakable tragedy," Scott said at a press conference. 

Baltimore’s state of emergency will remain in effect for 30 days.

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Maryland state of emergency

According to the declaration issued by Mayor Brandon M. Scott, the State of Emergency is in place to "protect the persons affected by these circumstances and to address the structural and transportation effects, including implementation of the relevant parts of Baltimore."

"I have declared a State of Emergency here in Maryland and we are working with an interagency team to quickly deploy federal resources from the Biden Administration," a statement from the governor said. 

READ MORE: Maryland governor declares State of Emergency following Baltimore bridge collapse

Federal resources

President Joe Biden spoke Tuesday afternoon to say the federal government was going to send all the federal resources Baltimore officials may need.

"I mean - all - the federal resources," he emphasized, "and we’re going to rebuild that port together."

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For starters, he said the Army Corps of Engineers is on the ground and is going to help lead the effort to clear the channel. 

"It's my intention that the federal government will pay for the entire cost of reconstructing that bridge, and I expect the Congress to support my effort," he added.

This story was reported from Detroit.