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Gov. Rick Scott speaks with Florida National Guard members and utility workers following Hurricane Matthew

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Rick Scott wants feds to declare ‘major disaster’ in Florida after Matthew

In St. Augustine Monday for an event promoting tourism in America’s oldest city, Gov. Rick Scott reiterated his call for the federal government to approve Florida’s entire request for a “major disaster declaration.”

The federal government has not approved funding, asserts the governor’s office, “for individual assistance or for permanent work to roads, parks, and government buildings in local communities.”

Scott, who has been pushing for such since Hurricane Matthew, is understandably nettled.

“Since Hurricane Matthew impacted our state, I have continued to travel along Florida’s east coast meeting with Floridians who were affected by this storm. Many families and businesses have lost everything. Homes were destroyed, businesses have shut down and are unable to pay their employees, roads are torn up, and many of our beaches have suffered severe erosion,” Scott said, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

“I am very disappointed that President Obama has not yet approved our entire request for a major disaster declaration. We are waiting on the president to approve funding to help families and businesses pay for things like temporary housing, home repairs, and living expenses,” Scott’s statement continues.

“Today I was in St. Johns County and, while many people are trying to rebuild, they need this key federal funding so they can start the process.

“At the state level,” Scott added, “we are helping our communities any way we can and I am going to continue to fight for every available resource from the federal government so our families and businesses can get back to normal. I am going to continue to call on the president to help our state because Floridians deserve nothing less. I hope President Obama approves our request today.”

While there has been no public statement either way on this from the White House, perhaps that declaration is coming.

Action News Jax reports FEMA officials are in Duval County on Monday, inspecting the damage with an eye toward (perhaps) further relief.

Meanwhile, FEMA was touring St. Johns County Friday, according to News4Jax.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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