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FEMA to Scott: Sorry, no aid money for Sandy

For the second time in recent months, the federal government has rejected Gov. Rick Scott’s request for aid after a major hurricane mostly bypassed the state.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator, Craig Fugate, sent Scott a letter this week saying that Hurricane Sandy’s impact on Florida was not large enough to require federal intervention.

“Based on our review of  all the information available, it has been determined that the damage to the infrastructure from this event was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments,” wrote Fugate, who used to be Florida’s emergency management chief.

Hurricane Sandy thrashed the Northeast in late October, though parts of eastern Florida were brushed by the massive storm. It caused more than $50 billion in damage in the Northeast, but Florida was mostly spared from such destruction—as it has been for the past seven hurricane seasons, including the one that ends today.

In August, Hurricane Isaac threatened the Tampa Bay area, including the Republican National Convention taking place in Tampa. The hurricane veered west, sparing Tampa from the worst damage.

When Scott asked for  more than $20 million in federal aid for Isaac, he was initially rejected by FEMA. At the time—the middle of a tough presidential election--the rejection was cast in a political light, highlighting the frosty relationship between Scott and the federal government. 

Scott appealed and FEMA eventually agreed to provide aid for Florida. 

The request for Sandy aid--which came just five days before the presidential election--focuses on the following counties: Brevard, Broward, Indian River, Martin, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and St. Lucia.

Scott has 30 days to appeal.

See FEMA’s rejection letter here