11 North Florida Counties Receive Federal Presidential Major Disaster Declaration in Response to Severe Weather

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. /Florida Newswire/ -– Governor Charlie Crist today announced that Florida has received a Presidential Declaration (DR-1831) from the President of the United States, through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as a result of the severe storms and flood events occurring from March 26, 2009 and continuing. The Presidential Declaration will provide Public Assistance funds to Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton and Washington counties. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program has been granted for the entire state.

“We are very grateful to the President and FEMA for this declaration,“ said Governor Crist. “These disaster programs are vital to the economic recovery of the communities that have been impacted by the severe weather and flooding.”

Public Assistance funds will provide necessary aid to state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged infrastructure.

Joint damage assessment teams are continuing their work across North Florida today. It is anticipated that additional counties will also become eligible for federal assistance programs as the water levels recede and damage assessments can be safely conducted.

After these additional assessments are completed it is anticipated that the state will request Individual Assistance to include households in addition to Public Assistance. These programs provide a variety of relief aid in the form of loans and grants designed to help survivors get back on their feet following a disaster.

“This is just the first round of assistance we are pursuing to continue the recovery process,” said Ruben D. Almaguer, State Coordinating Officer for Florida. “In the days and weeks to come, we will be sending additional requests to FEMA to help provide assistance to the flood survivors across northern Florida.”

For additional information on the Florida State Emergency Response Team and the Florida Division of Emergency Management, please visit .

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