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Gov. Scott, FEMA disagree on disaster declaration

Gov. Rick Scott is trying to get the federal government to provide additional aid for damage caused by Hurricane Isaac last month. The Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Scott's initial request for a disaster declaration this week, but Scott immediately appealed the decision.

Hurricane Isaac struck parts of Florida as a Tropical Storm before heading west toward Louisiana. Heavy rains caused flooding in places like Palm Beach County, and Scott's request for federal aid put the damage total at $26.8 million. In a letter to FEMA on Thursday, Scott upped the damage total to $36.7 million.

Read the letter--which points out that U.S. Senator Bill Nelson and Congressman Alcee Hastings also support a disaster declaration--below:

September 20, 2012

 The Honorable W. Craig Fugate
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
500 C Street SW
Washington, DC 20472
 Dear Administrator Fugate:

We are in receipt of your letter dated September 19, 2012, regarding the denial of our request for a presidential major disaster declaration for the State of Florida as a result of Hurricane Isaac in late August.

The initial request filed on September 10, 2012 requested Public Assistance for Bay, Collier, Escambia, Monroe, Okaloosa, Palm Beach and Santa Rosa counties. The original declaration request was for $26.8 million, meeting the required threshold of $25 million.

We agree with the request of Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson and Florida U.S. Congressman Alcee Hastings who also sent a letter to the President on September 12, 2012 expressing their support for the major disaster declaration. 

Today, I asked the Division of Emergency Management to appeal the denial to ensure Florida communities have the full capability to recover from Isaac’s damage. In addition to the seven original counties requested, the appeal will also include Broward, Franklin and Martin counties, where estimated damage is now nearly $10 million. This brings the total statewide initial damage figure for the ten counties to $36.7 million.  A formal appeal will be sent to your office detailing information on the following damage estimates:

Bay                              $2,968,392
Collier                         $1,331,371
Escambia                     $10,422,367
Monroe                        $888,098
Okaloosa                     $4,050,000
Palm Beach                 $6,017,636
Santa Rosa                  $1,201,000
Original Total            $26,878,864

Additional Counties:

Broward                      $6,117,418
Franklin                       $139,086
Martin                         $3,570,875
Additional Total        $9,827,379


 Rick Scott