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President Obama declares parts of Florida a disaster area for damage in Tropical Storm Isaac

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.

President Obama declares parts of Florida a disaster area for damage in Tropical Storm Isaac 10/18/12 [Last modified: Thursday, October 18, 2012 11:13pm]
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