President Obama Signs Florida Disaster Declaration

By: Florida State Emergency Response Team; White House Release Email
By: Florida State Emergency Response Team; White House Release Email

Tallahassee, FL - 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.

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The President declared a major disaster exists in the State of Florida and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by Hurricane Isaac during the period of August 27-29, 2012.

Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Hurricane Isaac in the counties of Bay, Collier, Escambia, Franklin, Gulf, Martin, Monroe, Okaloosa, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, and Santa Rosa.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Gracia B. Szczech as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.

FEMA said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

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