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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Rick Scott assesses Debby's damage in Pasco County



Gov. Rick Scott visited Pasco County on Friday morning to survey the damage from Tropical Storm Debby, saying workers are assessing the damage throughout the region to see if Florida can qualify for federal disaster aid.

Scott said 20 teams of state and federal crews are fanned out across nine counties to document the damage from the storm, which dumped more than a foot of rain in some areas. Earlier this week, Pasco officials estimated the storm had caused $1.5 million in damages to homes and $4 million in damages to businesses — both figures they expect to rise as crews continue to assess the flooded areas.

"Hopefully there are some federal additional dollars available," Annette Doying, Pasco's director of emergency management, told the governor as he attended a briefing Friday morning at the county's emergency operations center.

Scott nodded and said "yes."

He later told reporters "we are going to see" about obtaining federal dollars, noting crews are doing assessments now to see whether the state qualifies for such aid. The effort includes three teams examining beach erosion, he said.

While Scott has shunned federal dollars in other instances, including money tied to health care reform and funding for high-speed rail, he said seeking disaster aid is another story.

"It all depends on the issue," Scott said. "This is what you pay your tax dollars for."

Story here.

[Last modified: Friday, June 29, 2012 12:57pm]


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