After Hurricane Matthew, some Northeast Florida counties in the path of the storm have a leg up on others.
Action News Jax reported Tuesday that Volusia, Flagler, Putnam, and St. Johns counties are now eligible for Individual Assistance, which helps facilitate temporary housing for the displaced and small business loans for affected businesses.
Left out of that amended emergency declaration from Washington: Duval County, which was hit hard by the storm.
The city will need $100 million for recovery; the municipal utility, JEA, will need another $35 million.
These figures speak to the gravity of the situation.
In a statement Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott pushed for complete fulfillment of his request for a full emergency declaration extending individual assistance from Washington to all impacted counties.
“While it took more than a week for this federal funding to be designated in Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, and Volusia counties, I am glad to know that impacted families and businesses will now have access to these resources to help with their recovery process. I continue to urge President Obama to make these designations today in the remaining counties on our east coast. Florida is strong and resilient, and while we are making every resource available from the state, we need the federal government to be a good partner and help all of our families get back on their feet,” Scott said.
Later on Tuesday, the mayor’s office reached out with a clarification that may offer Jacksonville residents hope.
“We have NOT been denied for the federal assistance program. Counties are approved as they move through the system for approval,” wrote Curry’s spokeswoman, Marsha Oliver.
There are a number of steps to determine full federal assistance.
“Our last step in the review process is this Thursday – the Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment where federal, state and local officials survey damaged areas,” Oliver added.
If a threshold of damage is met, then grants seen elsewhere in NE Florida could also be approved for Duval.