Gov. DeSantis presses FEMA to add east coast counties to Ian disaster declaration
Gov. DeSantis isn't just doing normal press conferences during storm recovery.

DeSantis st aug
St. Johns, Volusia and Flagler should expect federal help.

Flooding besieged St. Augustine as Hurricane Ian churned past, and Friday brought Gov. Ron DeSantis back to Northeast Florida to review the damage, and go to bat for those who suffered losses.

DeSantis, who formerly represented the area in Congress, briefed media in the perpetually flood prone Davis Shores. That location, just blocks from A1A, suffered the storm surge that overcame much of the city again, evoking memories of 2016’s Hurricane Matthew.

“We knew we’d seen the impacts up here in this community in Northeast Florida before,” DeSantis said, alluding to that history.

With flooding revisiting this area, DeSantis said his administration would lobby the Federal Emergency Management Administration about “potentially expanding individual assistance eligibility” to St. Johns, Flagler, and Volusia, which were all hard hit by Ian impacts.

This list has expanded this week already. Orange, Osceola, Polk and Seminole Counties are being added to the nine Gulf Coast counties that were part of President Joe Biden’s initial major disaster declaration Thursday that followed Ian’s landfall in Florida, allowing affected parties individual federal assistance from FEMA.

Florida Department of Emergency Management head Kevin Guthrie lives in St. Augustine, and noted the personal connection during his remarks.

“I’m here to help not just the state of Florida, but also my hometown,” Guthrie said.

He went on to suggest that residents of flood prone areas like Davis Shores explore FEMA grants to elevate their homes, as one resident already is doing.

FEMA Regional Administrator Deanne Criswell, who has been traveling with DeSantis’ team to survey storm damage, again affirmed the state and federal partnership, but also spoke to Floridians working together.

“Neighbors helping neighbors, jumping in and helping out,” she said, saying she’d heard variations on that theme “throughout the state today.”

Criswell noted that 13 counties qualified for individual assistance already, and described her role as “getting eyes on, to see the damages, so we will continue to add more counties.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Kerri Thompson

    September 30, 2022 at 8:20 pm

    All my food and my vehicle

  • Picky com

    October 1, 2022 at 6:43 am

    All outta socialism Ron

  • Debra Maynard

    October 3, 2022 at 5:16 pm

    Highland County should have FEMA help.
    Winds were 140 mile per hr. Hugh Oak trees down everywhere.Someone’s bits of roof in my yard.

Comments are closed.


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