A new round of disaster declarations Saturday makes it official: Hurricane Ian’s ravages span the state, from the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic Ocean.
Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia counties were added to the list of counties now eligible to receive assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), according to a new release from the agency.
“Good news,” Republican Rep. Mike Waltz tweeted Saturday, after tweeting a host of photos from his district showing flooded-out streets.
Volusia and St. Johns were added to the declaration first. An hour later, Waltz tweeted that Flagler and Putnam counties were added.
President Joe Biden on Thursday declared Hurricane Ian a major disaster and agreed the federal government will cover 100% of debris removal and emergency protective measures for the next 30 days in the state.
When individual counties get named in the declaration, however, it means that individuals in those counties can also apply for individual assistance from FEMA. That assistance can help with temporary housing, basic home repairs and other, uninsured disaster-related needs.
The four counties named Saturday are in addition to Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Pinellas, Sarasota and Seminole counties.
Scenes from the Gulf Coast show roads collapsed and buildings leveled. As Ian moved inland, however, it produced historic rainfall, flooding out streets and homes. Damage estimates are in the tens of billions.
The state’s entire congressional delegation has sent the President a request to expand the individual FEMA aid to all 67 counties.
Still, the Republican delegation from Florida voted against the continuing resolution Friday that extends funding for federal agencies, that including FEMA. The Friday vote passed, however, 230-201. The Senate passed the continuing resolution 72-25 with Sen. Rick Scott voting against it and Sen. Marco Rubio not voting on it.
Survivors can apply for disaster assistance at disasterassistance.gov, by using the FEMA mobile app, or by calling 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.