WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Tuesday declared that a major disaster exists in Florida after Tropical Storm Debby and ordered financial aid for individuals in five counties, including Pasco.
The announcement came two days after aid was requested by Gov. Rick Scott. It also affects people in Baker, Bradford, Columbia and Wakulla counties.
On Tuesday, Scott requested aid for Pinellas, Hernando, Clay, Highlands, Franklin and Suwannee counties.
Assistance includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
"On behalf of the families and businesses impacted by Tropical Storm Debby, I thank our federal partners for their support in helping our state meet the needs during this time of recovery," Scott said in a statement.
The White House did not indicate how much aid Florida would get, though Scott's letter estimated damage assessments of $318,000 for temporary housing in the five counties; $5.2 million for repairs; $3.9 million for replacement; $2.5 million for disaster unemployment assistance, legal services and crisis counseling, among other costs.
More than $14 million was estimated for Small Business Administration home loans and nearly $2 million for SBA business loans.