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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Obama, feds, approve Scott's 2nd try for Hurricane Isaac assistance

19

October

After initially rejecting Gov. Rick Scott's plea for Hurricane Isaac disaster aid, Pres. Obama's administration has reversed course, accepting the governor's amended appeal for assistance.

From the Times staff:

President Obama on Thursday declared 11 Florida counties a disaster area for damage sustained in August from Tropical Storm Isaac. The declaration makes federal funding available to state and local governments.

In September, the Federal Emergency Management Agency refused Gov. Rick Scott's request for a presidential declaration of disaster for damages caused by Isaac.

FEMA director Craig Fugate, a former director of Florida's emergency management division, wrote a letter to Scott saying damage was not severe enough to require federal aid, and basically argued that Florida could handle the costs on its own.

Scott moved to appeal the decision, saying damage was about $10 million worse than originally thought, or about $36.6 million.

It was unclear late Thursday why the decision about the declaration was reversed.

Federal funding will be available for damages in Bay, Collier, Escambia, Franklin, Gulf, Martin, Monroe, Okaloosa, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Santa Rosa counties.

“We are pleased that FEMA recognized the legitimacy of our request and granted assistance for Florida's communities impacted by Hurricane Isaac,” said Governor Scott. “I saw firsthand the impacts Isaac had to our state. This assistance will allow Florida’s communities to successfully recover from those impacts, and keep Florida the best state in the nation to work, live and play.”

The press release from the Florida Department of Emergency Management is below:

FLORIDA RECEIVES FEDERAL DISASTER DECLARATION FOLLOWING GOVERNOR SCOTT'S APPEAL

TALLAHASSEE - Governor Rick Scott announced today that the State of Florida received a Presidential Declaration to assist eleven counties impacted by Hurricane Isaac in late August. The declaration comes in response to Governor Scott’s appeal to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to reverse its initial decision, denying the aid. Eleven Florida counties, Bay, Collier, Escambia, Franklin, Gulf, Martin, Monroe, Okaloosa, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Santa Rosa, have been declared for Public Assistance.

“We are pleased that FEMA recognized the legitimacy of our request and granted assistance for Florida's communities impacted by Hurricane Isaac,” said Governor Scott. “I saw firsthand the impacts Isaac had to our state. This assistance will allow Florida’s communities to successfully recover from those impacts, and keep Florida the best state in the nation to work, live and play.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance program provides grant assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures. Costs for repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly-owned facilities can also be covered under Public Assistance.

Due to the potential impacts of Hurricane Isaac, Governor Scott signed Executive Order 12-199, declaring a statewide state of emergency on Saturday, August 25. Hurricane Isaac made landfall south of New Orleans, Louisiana on August 28, 2012, but not before impacting Florida counties. Some areas of Florida experienced record rainfall and flooding, as well as tornadoes spawned from the storm. Preliminary damage assessments performed in 15 Florida counties revealed $48,345,637 in total damage due to Isaac’s impacts.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 – November 30. To GET A PLAN! visit www.FloridaDisaster.org. For the latest information on the 2012 Hurricane Season, follow us on Twitter at @FLSERT, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and on Google+ at FLSERT.

 

[Last modified: Friday, October 19, 2012 4:31pm]

    

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